Give and give freely!

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What does the title of this post mean to you?

To me, it means to give with a freedom in our hearts, free of the fear that if we give, we may not have enough for our families. I want to give to others lavishly, without a thought of what the next step is for me. No more…. Well, if we give here, we can’t give there. No! Trust God! If He’s told you to give, GIVE. Without fear.

This week, I’ve brought my lunch to work and with the money I’m saving everyday, I’m going to make a donation to a local charity at the end of the week. Do I like having PB&J for lunch, not necessarily, but I do love the idea of helping someone else.

How are you going to give freely this holiday season?

Wait….

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Merriam Webster defines the word “wait” as to stay in place in expectation. I know that all of us have callings on our lives and things we feel like God has called us to do with our lives and yet we are still waiting…..

The key to waiting is this – in the waiting, pray and prepare yourself for the next step. I heard a message this morning that gave 3 great steps to waiting.

1. Wait expectantly. – Wait and pray knowing beyond the shadow of doubt that God is going to do SOMETHING.

2. Wait quietly. – Haters are all around. Wait and pray without running your mouth (can anyone say, “guilty!”). He has everything under control. He doesn’t need you or anyone else second  guessing his timing.

3. Wait confidently. – Merriam Webster defines confidence as being certain. Be certain that He is working His plans out for  you already. All you have to do is be ready when the time comes to move out in the calling.

**The steps belong to Steve Blair from Church of the Highlands, the comments are mine :-)

God has something huge in mind for all of us, but we talk ourselves out of the calling when they don’t happen on OUR TIMETABLE! For some of us, if He put us where we thought we needed to be right now… we would fall on our faces. We are not ready!

God even did this in the life of Sarah. God could have caused her to get pregnant immediately, but He didn’t. There was an appointed time. She had to be ready for the move of God in her life… literally.

So, in the waiting… pray, prepare and be ready when He does move.

Verses to hold on to!

I pray to God-my life a prayer-and wait for what he’ll say and do. – Ps. 130:5

But me, I’m not giving up. I’m sticking around to see what God will do. I’m waiting for God to make things right. I’m counting on God to listen to me.  Micah 7:7

the BIG dream

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I think everyone in ministry, especially kids ministry, has that BIG dream. I call them God dreams because they are so BIG only He can make them happen!

I have had a love for kids outreach for at least 15 years now. I met a lady while at Lee that ran a weekly apartment ministry and to see those kids walk in with frowns on their faces and walk out happy just did something to me. To see the love of Jesus change someone is truly the most amazing thing ever. I came home from school, on fire and excited about doing something similar at the church I was working at at the time and had no support from the Pastor. I gave up on the dream at that time, but little did I know that other opportunities would arise in my life.

I began working at a skating rink church (skating rink that held church services on Tuesdays for youth and weekends for adults) and they saw the importance of reaching out and I had the opportunity to speak and lead one. It was called J.A.M & Bread. We set up in a park over in the poorer part of town (there is really no better way to say it) and played games, shared a Bible story and gave away food and clothes. We drew a large crowd every time we went over there, but there was never any follow up, never any relationship. Don’t get me wrong, I know seeds were planted in the hearts of those kids, but we never intentionally watered the seeds by trying to connect with them after the services.

Now, here we are, a million years later, I’m married, working full time and finishing a degree (and researching Masters programs) and have 2 kids AND the BIG dream is back.

In the next couple of weeks, I will start to unpack the dream and ask for you to help me pray about the next steps. It is exciting to see what God is doing!

QUESTION: What is YOUR God dream?
Speaking of big dreams: One of my closest friends in the world is seeing a BIG dream come true. She has been posting daily devotionals over on her blog, Wilderness Pathways. Go over and take a look. You can follow her on Twitter at @wildernesspathways .

I miss Twitter!

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This past weekend, I decided to step back from social media for awhile. I didn’t say it would be a permanent thing, but I didn’t say it was only temporary either. I’ve been reading Weird by Craig Groeschel and he talks a lot about being “present” with your family. I caught myself last week looking at photos on Facebook of folks I didn’t know! What the heck! I mean hours went by and I was still browsing through photos of a friend of a friend of a friend. This was the wake up call I needed. I lack self control, plain and simple. So, I did away with all social media for now. I will catch myself occasionally thinking about updating my status or something witty to tweet, but the thought passes quickly.

I do miss Twitter though because of #kidmin friends. I have gained so much knowledge from these guys and I miss links to articles they have blogged about or something cool that happened in their ministry. So, if I do hitch back up with any social media, it will be Twitter for right now. I don’t spend hours searching through tweets, like I did on Facebook.

Social media is GOOD. If you have the self control to limit your time and honestly, I just don’t have it right now.

Questioning the call….

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I kid…

But, I did walk out of the class and tell Pastor that I questioned it last night, jokingly of course! I know beyond the shadow of a doubt, this is what I was made to do. Love His kids and help them along the path that He’s put before them.

It is difficult to work with children from the ages of 3-12…. in the same room… with the same lesson. Especially when its a lesson that could have gone a lot deeper, but couldn’t because of the uproar in the room.

However, the kids ministry director has come up with a plan to work with my little buddy separately and this will allow our older youth an opportunity to serve and minister. I think this may make a big difference in how the class goes every week.

Every week, I’m learning what works and what doesn’t. The routine was put off a little because all the kids got there early, so their normal 30 minutes of “free time/centers” turned in to 45 minutes and it got a little out of hand, but we turned it around pretty quickly.

Music Monday!

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Both of these are older, but wow.. the truth in these songs.  I listen to a lot of music. Two hours of driving a day, plus eight hours at work… 10 hours a day. Spotify has really changed how I listen to music. I fell in love with the desktop version and then my husband bought me the premium version that I could download to my Android phone. It is worth every penny. Believe me.
What are you listening to?

First Night thoughts

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Our first night of Wednesday Night programming went well! I am so excited about how everything just seemed to fall into place. That hasn’t happened for me in a long time, yall. We started on time and finished up on time… no awkward pauses, things just flowed along perfectly. It was different having my 4 year old in class with me, but he soon discovered who the boss was and shaped up a bit.

We talked about fears and how God is more powerful than any of the things we mentioned. Such a great reminder to me as an adult that all of these “big” things that are going on in my life are nothing compared to how big HE is!

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