Category Archive “Simple’ Callings

ByAngie

Spoiled

This morning I went into my closet. I felt stressed as it was already and was having trouble finding clothes that I felt like wearing. The stress? Caused by my house being cluttered by too many toys, looking for documents needed to close the deal on the home my husband is purchasing for us, and worry because I forgot to take meat out of the freezer for dinner tonight.

Seriously? Pathetic. Talk about first world problems at it’s best. I felt sick as I searched through my closet. Sure, I don’t have a lot. I don’t have the best of the best. But I have clothing. I have a roof over my head. My kids have toys and we are fed every meal. We know Jesus, and we know his love for us…

Do you know how many in this world don’t even know who Jesus is? Who have never felt his love wash over them? Too many.

How many each day go hungry, not having even a cold meal to eat, let alone a hot one?

How many children out there are left cold, just wishing they had a jacket or shoes? The last thing on their mind is toys.

God, forgive me for taking all of your many blessings for granted.

I challenge each and every one of you: DO SOMETHING.

We can all sit here and say “Oh, bless their hearts. It’s Christmas and they’re cold and they don’t even know why we have Christmas.” So what? That does nothing. DO something. Give to missions, become a missionary, make a difference in just one person’s life. Whether where you are or abroad. Put in some effort. Pray? Yes, of course. But something more. ANYTHING more.

The simplest act could change the world.

I’m challenging myself to do more. I’m not going to wait until the New Year, I’m starting now.

Will you accept the challenge and join me?

ByEmily

I Think I Can… I Think I Can…

I can draw, but Michaelangelo was a much better artist.
I can sing, but no where near as well as my mom and sister. And definitely not as well as Mariah Carey or Whitney Houston.
I can preach, but not like T.D. Jakes, or my own awesome pastor, Larry McClure.
I can cook, but I’m no Paula Dean. Most aren’t impressed with my meals.
I can write, but it’s nothing like Maya Angelou or Emily Dickinson.

There are many things I can do, but there is always someone that can do them better and there always will be. The main thing is, I CAN. God called me to do…to do as me, like me. Not anyone else.

Now, you’ll have to excuse me. I’m off to do what God called me to do and not compare myself to others anymore. I’m out to be me, to be like me, and to be as good as me. Actually, I’m out to be like Him. That’s all that really matters.

Make a list of what you can do. It can be anything from playing an instrument to painting your toenails. 😉 However, it has to be just a list of what you can do. Leave off the ‘but.’ That part isn’t important.

ByKaren

Blessings!!! To Bless or Not To Bless?

I love to bless people!!  Love it!  I love to see the reaction of blessing others, especially when it’s done in secret and no one has a clue that it was me. (As it should be done secretly; “don’t let your left hand know what your right hand is doing”.)  It makes me feel good.

Not to brag on myself, but here are some of the things that I do, that you may like to try:

  • While going thru the drive thru at McDonalds, if I have the extra money, I pay for the person behind me.  I ask the cashier to tell them that their ticket has been taken care of and to have a blessed day.
  • If I’m at the store and the person behind me has a few things, I say “go ahead and ring them up with mine” and tell the person that I just felt like blessing them.
  • Sometimes, people just need you to ask how they are doing, and MEAN IT. Take the time to stop, look them in the eye, and ask how they are.  Others like to know that they are being taken seriously and that they are being listened to.
  • Simply holding the door for someone can mean all the difference in the world.
  • Ask someone if they need help with anything.  Whether it be at home, at the store, etc.

There are several ways to be a blessings to someone and it doesn’t always have to be financial.

You never know what these little things can mean to someone.  They could be having a horrible day and you just might be what they need to lift them up!  It could also start a chain reaction of niceness to others.  It could become an epidemic!  Bless out ya’ll!!

ByAngie

A “Simple” Calling: Breathing

Need help breathing? Turn to scripture...

Let everything that has breath praise the Lord. Praise the Lord!

Psalm 150:6 NKJV

How often do you find yourself breathing? Yeah, that’s what I thought. All the time, right? At least I hope… 😉 But how can breathing be a calling? Well, remember how I’ve mentioned before about being the only Bible some may ever read? I’m talking about your every day actions. The things you do without even realizing it. The words that come out of your mouth. The way you come across to others. Being human…

Sure, we all slip up from time to time. I know I certainly do. But in every action, word, thought, & breath I must remember “I never know who is watching. I would hate to cause someone else to stumble. I must be careful, because I never know… I would rather my existence LEAD someone to the Father than to cause them to run away from him.”

The Bible tells us this:

13 “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.14 “You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden.15 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,  they may see your good works and  your Father in heaven.

Matthew 5:13-16 NKJV

I need to be set apart. Different. Unique from the world. I have to take into account that if I act just like those who are not following Jesus, they will not see the appeal in following him. They won’t see that living the straight and narrow can bring on a happy life also… with many rewards. Hate the sin, love the sinner. Do good. Speak well. Be positive. Give all glory to God. These are phrases I tell myself to remind me.

When we start to “blend” and not let His light shine, we are causing harm to not only ourselves, but others. For example, our speech. What does it say about our heart if we are saying all the same things they are in the world?

34 Brood of vipers! How can you, being evil, speak good things? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.35 A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good things, and an evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth evil things.36But I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment.37 For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.”

Matthew 12:34-37 NKJV

Don't do this!!!

So basically, If I walk around saying the same things that those who do not follow Christ are, how am I any different? If my heart is the same as theirs, what do they see to make them want to follow Jesus? Not much! This is so important, and something that all should take into account. If we talk like them, act like them, think like them… WE ARE THEM. And by doing this, we are not only hurting them, but ourselves… and most importantly, the One who loves us more than anyone. God is not happy when we don’t do as he says. We should never intentionally give anyone any reason to tear us down.

“Do not give what is holy to the dogs; nor cast your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you in pieces.

Matthew 7:6

Now, all that being said, we should not judge either. For that, I recommend reading the entire chapter of Matthew 7. SO important. Who wants to be a Christian when they are constantly condemned and preached at? Show LOVE! (And I certainly hope this blog post doesn’t come across as preachy either…)

Just follow your convictions, let your light shine, and do your best. Witness when possible. God will not only bless you, but also someone else!

 

ByAngie

A “Simple” Calling: The Social Networker

Just by being here reading this, you fit into this category. You are reading a blog, which is a form of social networking. Chances are you are on Facebook, Twitter, and other message boards or websites where you interact with others.

How exactly can one minister to others in this venue? The list is long and varied, but we’ll go over just a few… It’s rather similar to the “simple” calling of friendship, but slightly different.

  • When you see a friend or follower is having a bad day, let them know you’re praying for them… and then REALLY DO PRAY FOR THEM. Send them a message of encouragement! A couple days later, ask them how things are going.
  • Invite those in your area to your church. Post an invite on Saturday and ask that they message you for the address. See if they need a ride if you are capable.
  • Write a “note” about how God has blessed you and those you know lately.
  • Worship song stuck in your head? Post a link. If you’re enjoying it, chances are good someone else will also.
  • When a scripture is laid on your heart, post it. It may just be what someone else needs to read.
  • Post prayer requests for those who are in need of prayer. Get the word out that someone needs to touch God and needs a miracle. You can never have too many prayers.
  • Keep your statuses uplifting, encouraging, non-confrontational, and clear. If you feel the need to post about your bad day and are seeking support from friends from time to time, go ahead. But try to have more positive posts than negative ones. When you are angry at someone on your friends list or that is following you, try your hardest not to post a vague update that will only cause confusion. Keep confrontations private. As I said before, we may be the only Bible some people read. When you act out in anger in such a large arena you are only making yourself look silly. (I’m speaking from experience. We’ve all done it, right? Forgive me, Lord.)

It may feel as though you are not making a difference with this ministry, but I certainly guarantee that you are.

What are some other ways that you use Facebook, Twitter, or another social network as a ministry? I’d love to hear your answers!

ByKaren

What’s Love Got To Do With It?

Every time I go to a particular store, there is always this one woman whom I desperately try to avoid.  She never has anything good to say and everything is so depressing.  It is Eeyore in the flesh!

I really do feel bad about ignoring her and not wanting to go thru her line.  I do understand that life has not been kind to her.

There are so many people in today’s society, that are like this.  Raw.  Hurt. Their share of fairness went to someone else.  These are the ones who need to be shown love the most.  Those who have been so hurt that the walls are built so high and tight around their hearts, that no one is allowed in, under any circumstance!  I know. I’ve been there.

She doesn’t need me to shun her.  She needs to see the love of Jesus in me.  To know that she matters to the Kingdom.  Sometimes it takes love and understanding from someone else, before others can start to see that there is love in others and a reason to be.

The New Testament states over and over again, to love one another and to treat others as you would treat yourself.

We will always have that one person, or 2 or 6, that is going to be difficult to show love to. Just keep in mind that you have never walked a mile in their shoes and you don’t know for sure why they are the way they are.  Ask God to teach you how to love them.

ByAngie

The Unexpected Burden

Yesterday afternoon I went out to run some errands with my Mom. I still wasn’t feeling 100%, but I just wanted to get out of the house for a little while. I decided to take Tommy (3 1/2) along and leave Johnny Ben and Molly at home with Daddy.

We had a couple stops, one of them being Target. I was tired, Tommy was tired, my Mom was tired. All I could think of was getting back in her truck and going home. When we came to the register the cashier was just counting in and starting her shift. She greeted us, asked if we found everything okay, and from there stayed silent. The expressions on her face and her mannerisms told me something in her life other than work was bothering her. Her mind and heart were somewhere else, and that somewhere else was not a happy place. Tommy even seemed to notice and asked her to smile, but she pretended not to hear him or was so distracted she did not notice.

I made mental note of the name on her name tag. I was polite but tried not to bother her with idle chit chat. I smiled at her, took the bags, and quietly prayed for her as she continued the process. I did not feel led to ask her why she was unhappy, but did feel a tug telling me to pray.

Since we left the store about 20 hours ago, this woman has come to mind constantly. I have no idea why she has been laid on my heart, but God does. I pray for her, asking God to do what needs to be done and touch her life.

How many times have we been asked by The Lord to do something like this and have ignored it? I know I have before. How many times have strangers done this for us? We many never know until we reach Heaven.

For all we know, when these burdens are laid on our hearts, we could be the only person praying for this individual. We could also be one of hundreds working together. The point is, GOD KNOWS. He really does. He loves that woman just as much as He loves me. He hates seeing her go through pain. He needs someone to hold her up in the spiritual realm just as much as she needs someone in the physical realm. Never ignore the Holy Spirit when he says to pray for someone… For all you know, the next time a burden is laid on a strangers heart… It may be for you!

ByEmily

Uplift Someone

You’re at your local grocery story and see the cashier. “Hey! How are you.” You say this as you walk on by her. The next day as you drop your son/daughter off at ball practice/dance class you meet a fellow parent. You put on smile as you say, “Hey, there! How are you.” and casually keep walking. Sunday morning you make your way through the church doors and spot Bro. What’s-his-name heading your way. You inwardly cringe, fake a sweet face, and say, “Hello, Bro., how are you doing today.” And continue making your way to the same pew where you always sit.

Yes…I know…. let me make that clear. I know that I put a period where there should be a question mark in the above paragraph. But let me also make this clear…to put a question mark means that you are asking a question and a question requires an answer. When was the last time you paused long enough to hear the response to the phrase, “How are you?” If you’re like me, chances are you don’t remember the last time you actually allowed someone to take a few seconds out of their day to answer that question.

For most of us, asking someone how their day is going has turned into simply a greeting and nothing more. It’s as common as “hello” and requires nothing other than maybe a nod of the head. But what if we decided to STOP and LISTEN, let someone answer our question? Don’t just greet the cashier, but engage in a little conversation. Now I’m not saying you have to devote half of your day to this person or become a therapist or life coach, but take the time to let someone know that you actually CARE about how their day is going. All they need to know is that someone cares. Who knows what it’ll do to Bro. What’s-his-name’s day to find out that you care about his existence?

I know it’s not much, but it’s one small way to uplift someone. Think of all the times you were having a bad day and could’ve used a pick-me-up? Wouldn’t you want someone to uplift you? I challenge you to do at least one small thing a week to uplift someone in your life, whether you know them personally or happen to cross paths just once. I’ve always heard that “what goes around comes around” so by choosing to be a light and uplift someone, you may just find yourself uplifted.

For more ideas on how to uplift someone, such as paying someone a compliment or donating books you’ve already read, visit http://watchgmctv.com/uplift. And by the way, you look stunning today!:)

ByAngie

A “Simple” Calling: The Ministry of Friendship

A friend loves at all times… Proverbs 17:17 NKJV

This calling is a rather obvious one… but I would like to still touch on the topic of friendship.

What does it mean to be a true friend? Is it just a social thing? Obviously, it is not. If it were, we would not become so emotional when a friend is lost. Does it mean to be dependable? How about caring? Being a good listener? Offering advice when requested? Understanding and compassionate? I think all of those things and so much more are what make a good friend.

How many times have you been having a bad day, but a good friend called and you instantly cheered right up? I know for me, personally, I have just a few friends that I can vent to. Isn’t it nice to have someone who you can rant to and know that they won’t think differently of you for it? How about knowing you have someone praying for you when you need it? Or a friend who will be honest when your hair color washes you out and you’re jeans make you look great? And of course, it’s great to know you can turn to someone, pour your heart out, and know that anything you tell them won’t be passed on to someone else.

We should always strive to be a good friend, not a mediocre one. We can’t be perfect, but we should try to not be flaky, negative, or distant. Reliable, uplifting, close, and available as much as possible.

What are some ways you can minister to a friend though?

  • Pray: Offer to pray for/with your friend whether it is something small or large. The need for prayer is always there.
  • Offer Help: Sure, you have your own family to tend to… And yes, they should come first. But when you can, help out your friend(s). Maybe they’re sick and need a little help with the kids/house/meals. When a friend has a baby, offer to bring over a meal and hold the baby while they shower or nap.
  • Listen: Sometimes we just need someone to hear us out. Don’t give your opinion or feel as though you need to solve the problem. Just listen.
  • Accept Advice: You know, sometimes I don’t know everything. When someone offers advice, I try not to act like a know-it-all or tell them why I think their idea wouldn’t work. I simply say, whether I like the advice or not, “I’ll keep that in mind!” Sometimes a friend just needs to feel as though they are helping, and by being rude all you are doing is causing confusion. You never know, you may remember what they said for yourself or someone else down the road and be glad you listened.
  • Avoid Being Critical: Depending on the friendship, you may be able to give a close friend constructive criticism. Like I said, and let me highlight: Depending on the friendship! Don’t be mean, negative, or downright inconsiderate. Remember the persons feelings. How would you feel if they did that to you?
  • Apologize: We all make mistakes. Sometimes we do things without realizing it. If you think you may have done something, intentional or not, to offend someone then please tell them you are sorry.
  •  Be There: Do what you say you are going to do when you say you are going to do it. This is a big “ouch” for me, as I’m always having to cancel things for various reasons. I used to never do that! Something to work on!
  • Be A Witness: Invite your friends to join you in church or begin a devotional/Bible study.
  • Make Time: When possible, meet with your friend and spend some quality time together.
  • Don’t Be Sensitive: No one is perfect. Not even your friends. Cut them some slack.
  • Avoid Jealousy: You are not your friend’s only friend. They have other relationships with other people. Don’t be “That Friend” that feels they have to be a part of every. single. thing… Be an individual!!!

Remember, you can’t choose your family… You CAN choose your friends… CHOOSE WISELY!!! Never let anyone walk all over you in the name of “friendship.” Show God’s love, yes. Be a door mat, no.

And now, in honor of Karen and her love for nostalgic television, I leave you with this… Get the cheesecake!

ByAngie

A “Simple” Calling: Being A Patron

Definition of PATRON

3: one who buys the goods or uses the services offered especially by an establishment

The calling can be reversed also... How can you minister to your patrons?

Ever been in a line at the store or sitting in a restaurant when suddenly you hear a customer being down right rude and mean to the employee helping them, or worse, another customer?

What about not even really acknowledging the person helping you, but just treating them as a gateway to get the stuff you want/need NOW?

Maybe you’re on a phone call with a customer service representative and they anger you, so you rip into them?

Sadly, it happens. We’re human, so naturally we make mistakes. We get sensitive or angry about something and we want to blame someone and throw a tantrum until it is fixed. But what kind of message are we sending out as Christians when we do this?

What kind of mood would you be in if you worked here? Think about it...

Think about it, what is the person on the other side going through that day? What if it’s a new job and they are just learning? What if it’s a single Mom working 3 jobs just to support her children and ill parents? I mean, yeah, sometimes the other person is just a jerk and could care less… But shouldn’t we show even them our love? And what about those who are with us when we act this way… We are humiliating our friends, family, & setting a poor example for our children. For some, we are the only Bible they will ever read. What if their idea of a Christian is skewed because of our bad temper?

So, how exactly can we minister? How can being a patron be a calling? Well, it’s actually not difficult at all. Here are a few tips:

  • Pray: Say a quick simple prayer before you leave the house. Ask God to bless those that you come in to contact with and to let his light shine through you. Request extra patience too…
  • Smile: Do it as much as you can. You never know who will have a better day just because you smiled.
  • Take Deep Breaths: When you do encounter someone who is rude, showing poor customer service, or just seems to not know or care about anything going on around them, take a few good deep breaths before you say something and utter a prayer under said breath.
  • Be Kinder Than Necessary: Same idea as smiling…
  • Say Please & Thank You: They really are magic words that go a long way! Your 3rd grade teacher wasn’t kidding!
  • Use Names & Titles Where Applicable: Let them know you see them as an individual.
  • Show Respect & Say “God Bless You” Or Something Similar: Make it difficult for them to be rude to you. Dory (Finding Nemo) says “Just keep swimming”. I would add, once again, “Just keep smiling”.
  • Try Really Hard Not To Be A Hypocrite: Because when you act out, it really hurts the other person’s view point of Christians. Especially if you have a “Forgiven” tattoo, John 3:16 key chain, and a fish emblem on your car.
  • Never Let Them Walk All Over You Either: If the need arises, stand your ground. Just do it as nicely as possible.

I won’t lie, this was hard for me to write. I, myself, have a problem with this from time to time. I’m GUILTY! YES! I said it! And if I’m the only one that learns from this, that’s okay… Because I needed to be reminded.

Thank you for reading! God bless! 😉