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The Ministry Of Presence!

“For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another.” -Galatians 5:13

Some times the greatest gift that we have to give to someone else is simply the gift our our presence with nothing added and nothing taken away. I’m not sure if you are like me or not, but I am one of those people that often thinks “I’ve got to fix it!”, but the Spirit is teaching me that I don’t have to fix it and there are going to be times that I can’t fix it, but I can almost always be present and my presence is more than enough.

My wife used to come home from school and she would start telling me about her day and the challenges that she faced and I would immediately start telling her what she should and should not have done. One day while we were having this very traditional back and forth, she just put her hand up and said: “I don’t need you to be my preacher, pastor or friend, I just need you to listen and let me get it out.” And from that day on, I learned the value of a sore tongue, because I have almost bitten a hole in my tongue while biting it to try and keep my mouth shut.

One of my teachers in middle school used to say: “God gave you two ears and one mouth, so you should do twice as much listening as you do talking.” There are times when we worry ourselves ragged trying to figure out what to say or what to do to help someone else, when honestly all they need is our presence. Just to know that someone cares is often more than enough to get a person through what they are doing their best to get through.

I ran into the above little poem about ministry and it reminded me that each and every one of us have the opportunity to minister to others.

We can minister to others by taking the time to listen. We can minister to others by looking for and accentuating the joy. We can minister to others by helping someone else, even when we feel like we are the ones that needs the help. We can minister to others by asking God to use us to share His love and blessing with others. We can minister to others by putting our arm around someone’s shoulders, giving them a hug around the neck or maybe a pat on the back. We can minister to others by encouraging them by finding the positive that has to be in there somewhere. We can minister to others by praying for them and with them. We can minister to others by serving them and meeting whatever need we can. We can minister others by comforting them with our words and actions.

Ministry at it’s best is about our presence. Some time, most of the time, just being there is more than enough…

The Mystery Of Life!

One of my favorite country songs has a line that says: “A woman is a mystery a man just can’t understand…” I think we can replace the word woman with life and we would be right on target. “Life is a mystery, we just can’t understand!” Here’s the real question we need to answer: Who said we were supposed to understand anyway? Maybe it is our trying to understand that causes most of our problems.

Life is a gift and a gift should be appreciated, enjoyed and most importantly lived. If you really want to live, then let life unfold without making any attempt to try and figure it out. There is another line in a song that says: “Let it be, let it be, let it be, let it be!” This is exactly what we need to learn to discipline ourselves to do, to just let it be…

This human life is a divine gift from our Heavenly Creator and Father. Everything is going to stretch out just the way it was designed to. We really don’t have to try so hard to make things work out. What we really need to do, is learn to simply ALLOW.

Not everything is hard work, struggle and toil. Not everything has to be understood and explained by us. It is okay to say: “That’s above my pay grade!” Life is life and life is unfolding just the way is was designed to, regardless of what we do or do not do.

Expectation is often times a very unrealistic enemy that causes us to miss the obvious, while we are distracted by what does not really matter. Live life long enough and I can promise you that your expectations are going to be shattered and when they are, it is a great opportunity to practice the art of allowing by letting go of the way you think it should be and embracing the way it is.

Here are a few ideas to help you practice the art of allowing:

Observe! Open your eyes and really allow yourself to see. See with your physical eyes, not just what you want to see, but the big picture. See with you mental eyes that there is so much more to this life than living and dying. See with your spiritual eyes the unseen wonders and miracles that most everyone tends to miss every moment of every day.

Don’t Judge! This is the hard part, because everything in this world is working to conform us to it’s own shape and anything different is to be thought of as unworthy. How many times have we missed the blessing, because we were distracted by judgement, when we were supposed to be enlightened by freedom?

Listen! There is so much to hear, if we can learn to really listen past the common noise that drowns out the still small voice of our Creator. Did you hear the breeze as it rustled the leaves in the tree? Did you hear the bird singing as it woke up with the sun? Did you hear the laughter and feel it touch you somewhere deep inside that you didn’t even know was there? Listen to hear these things and so much more. God is always speaking blessing, but we have to listen to receive.

Open Your Heart, Mind And Life! To really live life, we are living from three places: The physical, mental and spiritual. Open yourself to learning and growing in all of these areas to experience the totality of all that you have been created for. Life is not a mystery to be understood and explained. Life is a mystery to be experienced and enjoyed… 👣

My Most Proud Moments!

When I think back over my life and think about the moments I am most proud of, I think of many, but a few stand out and bring a smile to my face and joy to my heart.

The first one that came to mind was when I accepted Christ as my Savior and was baptized. I remember a Pastor’s class and him asking folks of all ages that had gathered how they felt in the moments after accepting and believing Christ was their Savior. He was going to skip me, because I was so young, but I waved my hand in the air, because I wanted to share with everyone and this was the beginning of real ministry for me.

The second proud moment for me was when I was ordained. To sit through that council, answer those questions, share my testimony and then have the men I had grown up admiring come and lay hands upon me and pray for me was one of the most proud and humbling moments of my life.

When I married my beautiful Bride Joy and when she gave birth to our two beautiful daughters had to rank up there as proud moments. Words cannot even come close to describing how I felt in those moments.

Each church I have been called to minister at have been proud moments for me. For a group of people to entrust their lives into your hands and ministry is such a great blessing and not for the faint of heart.

Just knowing that I have had an impact on making someone’s life a little better is one of those things that makes me proud. I have been blessed with many moments that I was proud, but looking back I have to acknowledge it wasn’t me, but Christ in me that made it all possible, each and every time. G3! = Give God Glory!