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Posts Tagged ‘serving others’

 

Life has been at a slower pace since my car broke down in October. I have had time to reflect on what I want to do and more importantly, what God wants me to do. There are times in our lives when we are so sure that God is leading us one way, only to find out we have misread the directions. We have good intentions to obey, but we simply get our wires crossed and head in the wrong direction. We are human. We make well-intentioned mistakes and the Holy Spirit has to re-direct us.

I felt a call to full-time ministry when I was 20. I wanted to be a nun. I was not Catholic. I never became Catholic. I moved to Indiana when I was 22 and I met my now ex-husband a few days after I arrived. I took a path and it led me to divorce and to becoming a single mom of 5 awesome kids. Do I regret that path? Not at all. I have struggled, but the Holy Spirit has discipled me in that time. I have grown closer to my Lord and Savior in that time. It was during that time that God pulled me back to my original calling.

I was divorced in 2000. It was in 2006 when God started to pull me back to Him. The Holy Spirit really transformed my heart in that time. In 2010 I read an article in a Christian magazine about Shane Claiborne and New Monasticism. I was so excited! I read and re-read the article. I started to look up intentional communities. I felt a flicker of that call that had been dormant for almost 20 years. I found so many Christian communities that were based on the church of Acts. I researched in those first couple of years and found Koinonia Farm. I reviewed their website over and over and sent my first email to them in September of 2014. Nothing happened, but I continued to feel called to living in Christian community as the first Christians did and I emailed the executive director of Koinonia Farm in September of 2016. We exchanged a handful of emails at that time and started the conversation about my joining the community. There were logistics that were challenging and things I may not have been ready to let go at that time. Fast forward to The Spring of 2018. Kiowa was supposed to get stationed in Northern California in April of 2018, but was stationed instead in Southern Georgia (1 hour and 45 minutes from Koinonia Farm!) She invited me to move from Indiana to live with her and so I moved in this past May. In the back of my mind I think I was aware that Koinonia was within driving distance now, but I wasn’t fully conscience of it. Maybe I wasn’t ready yet. When my car broke down and I felt completely helpless, I started praying for God to tell me what to do. I started seeing posts from Koinonia Farm on my Facebook feed. I started getting emails from their online store. Not unusual since they were going into their busiest time of the year, the Holiday season. But, I really became aware of how close they were now and I was strangely aware that there was no reason why I couldn’t make this happen now. I own very little. My personal expenses are few. My kids are grown and have lives of their own. I nervously emailed the executive director, who remembered me and was willing to continue our conversation. I am now registered to do an internship at Koinonia Farm from February to May as the next step in our conversation to joining the community. I have been called to community for 29 years. I took a detour, but God is fulfilling that call as I approach 50 years old. I may not have been ready before to give up everything and put Jesus first, but I am ready now. I have written that I can’t do any more secular jobs. My heart is in community, serving God and serving others. I am a modern day Anna;

Luke 2:36-38

36 There was also a prophet, Anna, the daughter of Penuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was very old; she had lived with her husband seven years after her marriage, 37 and then was a widow until she was eighty-four. She never left the temple but worshiped night and day, fasting and praying. 38 Coming up to them at that very moment, she gave thanks to God and spoke about the child to all who were looking forward to the redemption of Jerusalem.

I am amazed at how God strings events and circumstances together so bring about His will and our purpose. It may take years for that purpose to be realized, but God is working behind the scenes to accomplish what He set out to do. Never give up hope! Keep growing in God and keep preparing yourself for the fulfillment of that God-given purpose. It will happen. It may take 29 years, but it will happen in just the right time.

 

 

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Serve

serve

 

 

 1 Peter 4:10

Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.

Romans 12:6-8

We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show

mercy, do it cheerfully.

1 Corinthians 12:7-11

Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. To one there is given through the Spirit a message of wisdom, to another a message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, 10 to another miraculous powers, to

another prophecy,to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues. 11 All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he distributes them to each one, just as he determines.

Ephesians 4:11-12

11 So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, 12 to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may

be built up.

There was a period of 6 years that my kids and I lived with my ex-husband and his wife. It was financially easier this way and provided a more stable environment for the kids. As a family, we would do what we could to help the homeless. We took in transients (rail riders) on two occasions. We offered a homeless man an afternoon of warmth and a hot meal. My ex-husband has taken meals to those who were struggling to feed themselves and their families. Cree, my 18 year old daughter has found the joy of serving in a local mission for men and families. My daughter Cherokee and I have bought gift cards to fast food restaurants and given them to the homeless we see on the streets. If someone is in need, we have tried to meet that need as a family. We don’t have a lot. We live pay check to pay check, but we give of what we have. If we know someone needs something and we can meet that need, then we do.

God has given each one of us a gift/gifts that he expects us to use in serving others. It doesn’t have to be difficult. If you can’t volunteer in a local ministry, then ask God to open up opportunities in your daily life to give you the chance to use your gifts. If you can volunteer in a local ministry, then find a way to use those God given gifts there. I am an introvert. Being around a lot of people and social situations causes me anxiety and exhausts me, but I love to connect with people through the internet, so I use this blog and Facebook to encourage others and connect people to Jesus. God has opened up an avenue for me to use my gifts and natural tendencies to glorify His name. My 5 spiritual gifts are: Exhortation, Mercy, Pastor/Shepherd, Faith, and Intercession.

A Challenge:

I am challenging you to take a spiritual gifts test. Click here to take the one I took. Once you take the test, I challenge you to look for ways in your every day life to use those gifts to serve others. Pray for God to reveal to you how He wants you to use those gifts. God WILL open up opportunities, He is simply waiting for you to ask. Open your heart to the needs of others. Look around to those who are in need (those we would normally ignore in our hurry through life).

I would love to hear from you. Let me know how God has used you to serve others. God bless you, my friend!

 

 

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