Monday, March 6, 2017
HEART FULL OF APPRECIATION...
Being a part of the church is the most wonderful blessing! God knew what He was doing when he encouraged us to not give up the habit of meeting together and to spur one another on to love and good works (Hebrews 10:24,25)! This past week found me struggling physically with back pain (too much yard work) but grateful for Christians with passion to help others in various ways. It was kind of crazy that all these activities were in one week but I'm glad I got to participate! You never know what you will learn or what God will do with these opportunities.
Sunday was a Ministry Fair at our congregation and although our Women's Ministry has many good women involved in different ways, we thought about needs we might have and ways we could still use women to make our program have even more vitality. I had no idea what to expect. It was amazing as 73 names were written down to help in various ways we thought might be helpful: to help launch a service aspect which has been in the back of my mind for a while, to have greeters at events, be a neighborhood watcher for new families that move in, etc. I'm just so, so thankful for the ministers and staff at our church who set aside some Bible class time for the most possible participation. They organized it well.
Wednesday found me at a seminar for Inclusion of children with Special Needs at our congregation. The presenter, Barb Newman, from Michigan, was excellent and really touched my heart as she spoke about the church as a body and what a blessing it can be for everyone who embraces the disabled. The helpers get to use their special gift that in turn blesses them, the child, and the child's family. I began to think about how this could enhance our women's ministry. At the table, I sat between two of our ministers and several times Barb asked us to take a minute to discuss certain aspects of her presentation. I enjoyed hearing the wheels turning inside our preacher's head. I'm so very thankful for our ministers and the educators who put this together!
The last Wednesday night class of the winter quarter was equally wonderful. My friend Rhonda has an amazing gift to share the Bible with people she meets. I have learned so much from her! It's crazy the amount of energy she has. I think it's God-given! We had a class for women she wanted to call Friend to Friend (getting away from the Evangelism word) and over and over she stressed to us, "Everyone is in two camps: either you are in need of a Savior or you are saved and need encouragement." Most of the nights she brought a friend, Delisa, with her and they demonstrated how they studied together. Another thing she stressed each week was to see everyone you come in contact with - your checker at the store, your hairdresser, the manager of your favorite store - as people you might potentially study with. Her catch phrase is, "I love to study the Bible with people, would you like to study the Bible with me?" And she camps out at her local coffee shop and pancake house to do these studies. She is an inspiration and I am thankful for her. Some people may have this gift naturally, and some of us have to work on it. But she has made it more do-able somehow by showing us step-by-step how this works for her.
Late Wednesday night found me having a meeting with young women in their 20's who have volunteered to host our June RefresHER (ladies program). I was tickled at the response and their willingness to take on a big event like this to bless the ladies of our congregation.
Thursday morning Bible study was our last big luncheon of the year. Usually I enjoy seeing all the decorations of the different tables and take pictures, but this year I forgot my camera and realized my zeal for decorating is waning as it just represents clutter to me. (What? I know, weird!) Also, our leader had emphasized taking the funds we might usually use to make pretty tables and bring items to donate to a charity as our "decorations." Our table was full of shampoo and deodorant that will go to Breaking Chains ministry in Honduras. My heart is thankful and was touched to see tables of items that will help people!
I am full of appreciation and praying for continued good works from our ministers, our volunteers, Barb, Rhonda, Delisa, Bible study leaders, and also our elders who oversee in such a good way!