“ALL” HE HAD MADE
God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning—the sixth day.
In Genesis, God is tell us how the earth was created, all the animals, fish, land and sea, night and day. On this sixth day he would also create man and woman. God saw all that he had made and it was good. It was good! Do you know you are good? Do you know that he made you to be good? To do good? To live good? But what does that mean?
The webster's dictionary defines good as: to be desired or approved of; having the qualities for a particular role, morally right; righteousness.
1. To be desired or approved of: our goodness comes from our Lord and Savior through our relationship with him; we are good because he is good. We are desired and approved because he is.
2. Having the qualities for a particular role: God made us good so that means your identity is in him, not your stuff, your achievements, your possessions or what others say about you. God created you for a particular role, to have a relationship that glorifies him and out of that a relationship, a relationship with others.
3. Morally right: Good is the opposite of bad. God created us to be good, to choose what is right based on his word. To live a life in truth, honesty with integrity. To make choice that bring glory to God and create fruit. To make choice that build others versus tear them down.
4. Righteousness: God is righteous God and being good in him is righteous. It’s not having your own way, being prideful or holding your “Christianity” over someone. But instead in love, directing others towards Christ, sharing the truth of who Jesus is, his life and what our lives should be as a result. The only way to God is through Jesus, the right way and the right life.
So God said he made it ALL and it was all good. How does this change things today? What is God telling you right now?
2 Timothy 1:7 (NKJV) For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.
I have been working on a new talk called STEP...where God is asking us to step out in faith, in trust, in provision, in his promises, in change, in love, and life.
So many times we are wanting to take that step, we are wanting more of the Lord but we are afraid. What if I make this step and I fail? What if I make this step and it's the wrong step? What if I take a step and my heart get's broken? What if__________..you fill in the blank.
Life was never meant to be lived by sitting on the sidelines, watching others. It is mean to live life in abundance. It's mean to move. (John 10:10). Often, we sit where it's comfortable, easy, and the same. Where's its safe. Where we don't have to change. Where we can just exist. But seriously, is this what you really want? Boring!!! Plus, don't you know you miss out of all that God wants to show you and give you and use you through???
Even though when you take that step, when you move forward you aren't always sure of where you are going you can be confident of know who goes with you. If you are led by the Holy Spirit because you are a believer, a follower of Jesus Christ, you will not have to fear, you will not have to question, you will not have to be concerned...God has you..every step, because you have HIS POWER...He is directly you. He is guiding you. He is protecting you. He is providing for you. He is living through you. He is loving through you.
So, make that STEP and trust Him...He's Got This and "You"
IRON SHARPENS IRON
Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another. Proverbs 27:17
Teamwork has been around this the beginning of time. Where would we be without teamwork? Where would we be without people learning how to get along, using their talents, their gifts, and their ideas to make things better. Where would we be in technology, invention, industry, and life without teamwork? Well teamwork that works?
Well, not much would get done--it would simply be a mess. So why do some teams work and other do not. Successful teams work because of the people on the team wanting it to work. They know its not just about your ideas but also listening to the ideas of others. It's about sharing and supporting, encouraging and empowering others. So where does great teamwork model come from? Although the secular world would love to take the credit, they would be wrong for all teamwork comes from God. The first successful team was God and Adam, then Adam and Eve..all the way down to you and God. Your relationship with God is your example of how to be a team player elsewhere.
A few years ago I developed a local singles ministry team called Connect 4. We came together with one idea of community, of connecting to God and each other. It's amazing of how much we have accomplished in such a short time. We are truly a successful team. We are truly iron sharpening iron. But God also remind me of some other teams I am on.
1. I am on a Christian team of fellow believers all over the world. I know I am not alone in this walk, this journey to reach the lost for Christ.
2. I am on a church team, working together to minister and reach others for Christ. What a joy to serve along side single and married, young and old, lost and saved.
3. I am on a ministry team of The Singles Network/From His Hands where I have a board of advisors who help guide and direct me in this ministry. There is also the team of fellow leaders in ministry that use the resources of my sites to build their ministries.
4. I am on a prayer team of my ministry, praying for not only my needs but the needs of the ministry.
5. I am on a friendship team where my friends join me in my walk with the Lord--through thick and thin. They support me, encourage and listen to me.
6. I am on a family team. A team though at times have struggled, we have always stuck beside each other.
What an honor to serve on a team. Remember, the success of the team has to do with its players, their attitudes, support and willingness to help. How successful are your teams.
SHE TOLD ME HER STORY
"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Matt 11:28
This past week I spoke in Orlando Florida at a singles conference. It was a blessed day to see so many singles, hear their stories and questions, and get a ton of hugs. Not only do I feel the Lord uses me but I also get refreshed and encouraged.
So this past Saturday, along with the normal experience, God would do something different. Later in the day I would receive a donation towards my ministry. I wasn't surprised at getting a donation as I live on partial support. But what I was surprised was the amount. Way beyond expectations. I quickly emailed the donor back, making sure they wanted to give me what they gave me. Perhaps they clicked an extra digit and didn't know it. But to my surprise, she wrote back and said, yes, she meant it. She then started telling me her story. I have copy and pasted below, with her permission.
Yes, I am sure. I am a single mother of 2 children who lost my home to Hurricane Irma. My children and I have been homeless since September 11, post Hurricane Irma hit on Orlando. We lost our home and have been hopping from house to house and 12 different hotels through FEMA. Just last week Wednesday, the FEMA adjustor met me at the house to evaluate the damages. By Friday money was direct deposited into my account and though it will not rebuild my home but it will help meet our needs. As I sat at the conference on Saturday I was moved by the point you made of the difference between being lonely and alone. I feel alone through this process now more than ever but like you said the difference is I have hope. Hope that the Lord will continue to provide, hope that He will not leave us alone, hope that He is surrounding me with men who are friends to help with my home, hope that the Lord will bring me a husband in due time but for now He is my husband and the Father to my children.
Friday night before the conference I prayed before going to sleep and cried out to Lord and said Lord I’m tired, my children are weary from the instability we have and I’m tired mentally, physically and emotionally so if you want me to go to this conference tomorrow then you need to wake me up. The Lord woke me up at exactly 7:30 am (no alarm just the Lord) and I said ok Lord I will go. I started to get ready and I went to check my credit card account online because I was going to pay it off since I had received FEMA money and came to realize that I had fraudulent charges on my account and now had to call and report the charges and close down my credit card. I was discouraged because now I have to wait a week for a new card and then the Lord said did I not just deposit money in your account yesterday and why are you letting the enemy stall and discourage you so that you wind up late or don’t go to the conference? I got in my car and got to Live Out Loud on time. While I was sitting there the Lord spoke to me and you shared that you were the only single’s speaker left and how hard it had been to continue your ministry without support. That’s when the lord told me to pay my tithe on my FEMA money to your ministry. I am also praying that your ministry does not die and pray that you continue to speak to other singles the message of hope. I pray that this blesses your ministry as you blessed me on Saturday.
Folks, what courage, what faith does this single mom have? It totally convicted me of my own walk with the Lord. Was I this faithful? Was I this strong in my walk with God? Was I willing to tithe 10% off of what God gives and gifts me? Was I willing to show others what it takes? Am I being a leader? A follower?
This woman is precious to me. I can't even fully communicate how it has affected me--my own conviction as well as thankfulness to God for his provision for me.
So what you fearful of today? What are you weary in? What are you struggling in? What are you not trusting God in?
I WANT MORE
—1 Peter 3:15-16--
But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, 16 keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander.
I want more of God: I want more of Him in every part of my life. But how do I get this? Years ago, I heard a great sermon where the speaker said “God shows up every day, every minute in our lives, but due to our own busyness, our own stuff, distractions, etc., we miss it.” He went on to say that you do not have to find anyone to share your faith with. You do not have to knock on a single door, or stop a person on the street or yell on top of a box in the plaza (although for some, that is what God may have asked of them). He said, “just pray, Kris. Pray every day that God would show up and interrupt you. Pray every day that you would be sensitive enough to notice the people He brings into your day; the phone call where someone needs to talk, the person sitting beside you on the bus, the waitress who is having a tough morning, the gas station attendant who wishes they had a different job, the single mom who could use some prayer, and so forth.” Of course, this would mean that I might have to get up earlier, so that I would have time to be interrupted. Lol.
Well, I decided to try it, and, oh my goodness; how my life changed. As I prayed each day, I started looking and expecting God to show up. I could sense from the Holy Spirit whom I was supposed to talk to and whom not. There are some times I am supposed to just be with the people I am with and not talk to a stranger. But, other times, when I am flying to another city and God puts someone beside me on the plane, or I have to talk to a customer service rep on the phone or I am in the doctor’s office and it’s taking forever, God is lining up these situations for us to share our faith. It happens EVERY DAY; we just miss it or we find something else to do. We read a book and ignore the person sitting next to us on the plane. We play on our phones or computers at the doctor’s office. Or instead of sharing of faith with the customer service rep, we just get angry and yell.
So, start today; test it out and see just how many times God lines up a time to talk to folks. Remember, He lined up the conversation. Just be obedient to start talking and see what God does. Share what YOU know of how Christ changed your life. Trust God for the rest. Remember, too, you may not be the one to lead them to the Lord, but you may simply be a part of the group of people God has put in their lives. You may also be the one God uses to lift their spirits, including yours. Because once you see God use you to change someone’s life, Wow! You will not only want to do it again, but tell others.
SHOULD YOU MARRY....?
John 5...in Jerusalem by the Sheep Gate a pool, which is called in Hebrew, Bethesda, having five porches. 3 In these lay a great multitude of sick people, blind, lame, paralyzed, waiting for the moving of the water. 4 For an angel went down at a certain time into the pool and stirred up the water; then whoever stepped in first, after the stirring of the water, was made well of whatever disease he had. 5 Now a certain man was there who had an infirmity thirty-eight years. 6 When Jesus saw him lying there, and knew that he already had been in that condition a long time, He said to him, “Do you want to be made well?”7 The sick man answered Him, “Sir, I have no man to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up; but while I am coming, another steps down before me.”
8 Jesus said to him, “Rise, take up your bed and walk.” 9 And immediately the man was made well, took up his bed, and walked. And that day was the Sabbath. 10 The Jews therefore said to him who was cured, “It is the Sabbath; it is not lawful for you to carry your bed.” 11 He answered them, “He who made me well said to me, ‘Take up your bed and walk.’” 12 Then they asked him, “Who is the Man who said to you, ‘Take up your bed and walk’?” 13 But the one who was healed did not know who it was, for Jesus had withdrawn, a multitude being in that place. 14 Afterward Jesus found him in the temple, and said to him, “See, you have been made well. Sin no more, lest a worse thing come upon you.” 15 The man departed and told the Jews that it was Jesus who had made him well.
Recently I receive an email from Crosswalk.com. A great online magazine that has a singles section with weekly articles and resources. In fact, I write for them and have my own byline, He Said, She Said's. Anyway, the article I got was titled, "Should You Marry Someone with a Personality Disorder?" by Dr. Roger Barrier.
As I read through the article I was amazed by just how many personality disorders there are and the detailed descriptions. I wasn't focusing so much on the marriage part knowing it would be difficult to marry someone with one of these disorders but more so realizing these are some of the people in our singles ministries. This is why singles ministry is so hard--some of these people never get healthy, never change, and cause issues wearing you out as a leader. Some of them need meds, counseling, shadowing, etc. Some of these people end up dominating your ministry to the point that the healthy ones leave and others never come. Unlike marriage ministry (which can have some folks with issues too), we deal with this daily.
So, what to do? Jesus came for us all, even those with personality disorders? How do you keep things balanced in your ministry? How do you keep people from taking over, pushing others out, and maybe even dating--when they aren't healthy to do so?
Years ago, I had a couple of ladies in my ministry with bi-polar and Schizophrenia. Both were on medications, however one kept going off. As a result, she was sporadic in her attendance. When she would come, she would be crying or deeply depressed. I counseled her, sat with her, listened, hug, shadowed but simply was not making any difference. Then I contacted an old friend of mine with the Southern Baptist Convention who specialty was how to minister to people with various mental and physical disabilities in your church. I quickly contacted him and ask for help. I was relieved to know that it wasn't my place to be their doctor and that some issues do need to be handed over to trained professionals. That while Jesus can heal anyone at any time, in the meantime, it was OK to say I couldn't help or to refuse someone in our class---especially if they were causing division.
Wow, how could I do that? How could I refuse someone to be in our ministry? How could I ask someone to leave? Well, it came down to prayer and resources. The only way I knew what to do, how to counsel, how to help was to pray and ask God what to do. Then, he either advised a resource to help or he told me to ask them to leave. Of course, this was after I had done all that I knew to do. This was after many conversations, grace, forgiveness and so forth.
Now, I will say that some of these personality disorders could be by choice. I mean, all of us have something wrong with us. But if these issues affect others around us to the point we do not have healthy friendships, then not only are we going to have problems with friends, but also family and those we work and live around...and marriage will not be in the future. While I do believe some of the issues could be managed by meds and some counseling, you also have to want to change and get help. And there lies some of the problem. I find a lot of singles do not want to really get healthy. They think people should accept them and their behavior as is--and that is what's hard for me as a leader.
So, while I don't have all the answers and I know grace is needed more than ever. I also know Jesus asked the man by the water--do you want to get well? Even if we know our issues keep us from having a marriage, we can at least work on general relationships. Perhaps that is what we can do as leaders of singles--just help them to live--each day to its fullest.
Lifeway Published: No Regular Joe
Recently Lifeway contacted me to republish an article for their June Issue of HomeLife magazine, honoring "Fathers of all kinds." I had written about my step-dad who loved me and treated me like his own child…just like Joseph treated Jesus. What was bitter sweet about the article is that I wrote it when my dad was still alive. What a treasure to read it again, thanking God for such a wonderful earthy father as well as my Spiritual one. Click here to read complete article.