Wednesday, April 29, 2009

What are we Reflecting?

Living by the ocean, or any water for that matter, can be quite inspirational. I have enjoyed the walks on the beach, the bike rides, and waking up to the suns reflection on the water. Although, there have been mornings I wish the sun was not so bright so I could sleep a little while longer.

This morning I woke up thinking about that reflection and how it relates to each of us. It doesn't matter if we believe in Christ or not, our lives reflect something. What is it that is reflecting off of us? Is is Christ? If we call ourselves Christians then Christ should be the brightest reflection coming from our lives. Sure we make mistakes, but those mistakes should be opportunites for growth. If we keep making the same mistakes, something is wrong with our lives. We need to do a little introspective of our spirits and ask God to help us move on.

Since leaving a legacy to the generations is prominent right now, our reflection should be even more important. People are watching how we do life. They are watching how we react in difficult situations. What is our attitude when someone cuts us off while driving? Are we allowing the fruit of the spirit to affectively penetrate our spirits and reflect in our lives?

We may preach and teach about this often, but how close to home does it truly hit? I know that I constantly catch myself in situations where I have a chance to let God's reflection shine through or my own. I pray that more often than not, it is God's.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Mentoring Women in Ministry Weekend Retreat

It has been an incredibly busy time in my life. We just had the second Mentoring Women in Ministry Weekend Retreat of 2009 and it was awesome. God is so amazing. He is working in the lives of women everywhere and I am excited to see what He has in store for the rest of this year.

Women from different areas came together to be refreshed and challenged by one another. The weekend could not have been better. The weather was so nice we were able to sit on the deck overlooking the Atlantic Ocean for the morning sessions, take a walk down the street to eat at Surf Club for lunch overlooking the ocean, then took a walk on the beach. We came back to enjoy the afternoon sessions inside, but still had the relaxing view of the ocean.

We covered many issues directly relating to the woman in ministry, ie her calling, her priorities, her marriage, and much more. The weekend is specifically planned to be relaxed and not rigid on time restraints. It is laid back and open discussion is very important.

If you are a woman in ministry and are able to attend one of the two weekends (July 31-Aug. 1 and Oct. 30 -31) please contact me soon, because space is limited. If you are on Facebook look up Mentoring Women in Ministry for more details.

I wanted to bring one thing to the attention of my readers. There is an awesome opportunity for me to speak to women in ministry and pastors in Ghana. The proceeds of "Shattering the Glass Walls of the Woman in Ministry" and "If the Shoe Fits" will go toward the cost of this trip.

"Shattering the Glass Walls..." takes the woman in ministry through various issues she will face throughout her life in ministry. It is short and easy reading, but meant to be thought provoking and introspective. It is for the veteran woman in ministry or pastor's wife and the woman in ministry just starting on her journey. I honestly believe you will be challenged and encouraged as you read.

"If the Shoe Fits" speaks to every woman and challenges them to allow God to use them in their specific giftings. This book has been used as a tool in my own home. We have a handicapped son that has daily nursing care. I have this book in my son's room for anyone to read. It has been a catalyst for discussion and two of the nurses are now attending church with us regularly.

If you are interested in purchasing the books you can click on the following links to order and have the book shipped directly to you. Remember, all the proceeds of this book go toward the ministry trip I will take to minister to other women in ministry. You may not be able to make a trip such as this, but you can contribute by purchasing the books and assist in reaching people you would not have been able to reach personally. I honestly appreciate whatever you can do. These women are in need of encouragement and support. God has placed this before me and I am grateful for your support through prayers and finances.

Purchase "Shattering the Glass Walls of the Woman in Ministry" here.

Purchase "If the Shoe Fits" here.

Also, if you are in need of a speaker at any of your events I am scheduling for that as well. You can check out my website for more information on me and recommendations, You may also make a donation through paypal on the website.

Thank you once again for helping to contribute to this ministry. May God bless you richly for your compassion and generosity.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Are We as Intriguing and Intense as "LOST" and "24"?

So...many people are "caught up" in the intrigue of "LOST" and "24" on television. There is nothing wrong with that, because I am "caught up" along with everyone else.

I began thinking about this and several thoughts came to mind in how we can relate the two series to our spiritual life...

Do our lives, as leaders, give people the desire to "tune in" to us weekly? Think about this for a moment. Do we attract people? What do our lives say? What words come from our mouths on a regular basis? I know I like to be around people who can speak into my life positively.

If we are around someone who is constantly negative and draining us, it is not healthy for our spirit. Besides, we usually tend to stay away from them. That is exactly the reason I bring this point up. In order for us to be as intriguing as "Lost" or "24", our lives have to have the excitement, the enthusiasm, and the intensity as these shows.

We just celebrated Easter. Think about what Christ did for us, what opportunities He provided through the cross. That should be all we need to challenge us in our walk with Him and how we represent Him to others. Maybe we provide some of this intrigue in our churches, maybe not; but, if not, we should think about this in light of what we are doing to reach generations.

If we want to attract this generation and generations to come we must develop this intrigue in both our ministries and individual lives. We must be careful to not grow old in our thinking as we mature in our age. Stay young at heart, so you do not miss the opportunity to reach younger people. Besides, by staying young at heart you may just live longer.

Now, there will be some limitations. I would love to learn to kite board, but I remember my age and think it is not a wise thing to do. Plus, my arms aren't that strong! I have gone on a zip line before, but that was about 9 years ago. I still think I could do that, but the adventure hasn't arisen lately.

I say all of that, to challenge you to look at yourself seriously and ask some tough questions. Have you become settled in the way you do life? Are you predictable in how you relate to people, or how you do ministry? Maybe it is time to add a little adventure, a little suspense, to your your ministry. When you do that people will not know what to expect the next time they see you. Hey, they may even start coming around more often, just to see what's going to happen next.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Staying Hydrated in the Race of Life

I woke up this morning with the thought: "Challenges we face are opportunities for us to grow stronger and see the hand of God in our life." Later in the afternoon as I was walking I thought of a lesson I learned from my son when he ran cross country in high school.

When you are training for a race it is important to hydrate the day before, because that is what will sustain you through the race. Now, Christine Caine has written a book called "Run to Win," which is an excellent read for any Christian. It relates running a race to the Christian life. If you haven't read it, I highly recommend the read. She talks about conditioning and all that relates to the runner.

I want to point out something else relating to a race and the Christian life...being prepared for the race by taking in enough fluids. Coaches will tell you to drink plenty of fluids the day before a race. As Christians we need to follow this example by staying spiritally hydrated with the Word of God...with Christ, who is the Living Water.

By staying in the Word and absorbing what God is telling us through Scripture we are preparing for the race of life...the race of a Believer. When the obstacles and challenges come at us, we will have what we need in order to stay in the race; just like a runner needs the fluids to make it to the finish line.

It is very important that we never think we don't need to read the Word or pray: "Oh, I can skip it today. I will do it later." We need to be careful to not take either of them lightly. They are what will sustain us through, to the finish line. When the obstacles and challenges come at us, we will be able to pull from the strength our training has given us.

If we have been slack in our training, it will be evident in the way we deal with difficult circumstances. It will be evident in the way we respond to our family...our friends...our collegues. We cannot lie about how much, or how little we have trained. Our lives will tell the truth. are we dealing with life? What are we going through right now? Are we running strong, or are we a little weary? Maybe all we need is this blog to remind us to pick up our Bible and read. Maybe this is a reminder to spend more time alone with God worshipping Him for Who He is, not for what He has done. Maybe we need to just be still and listen to the "still small voice."

As we do these things we are going to be replenished. We will be reminded that we can move forward; we do not have to stay discouraged.

The obstacle or challenge we are facing at the moment is just an opportunity for us to grow stronger and see God at work in our life!