Lisa L– Do not delete this blog because there are a lot of words to read, lol. Sorry all, I have to leave a note like this since Lisa deletes long winded blog posts, lol.
The other night I was having a conversation with my sister about how hard it was for me to accept help from others. I have always been the kind of person who felt I could do it myself and I needed no help. It’s wasn’t until Ruth Heuring who is married to my previous pastor pointed out that sometimes it isn’t just a way of helping me do things when needed, it was also a way to help others be a blessing to me. I didn’t get what she was saying.
My answer when asked if I need something was always, “no, I can do that myself.” Then one night while I was sitting alone in my hospital bed, God turned the light on for me. I didn’t get it. While I was in bed, God told me that the same joy I get when I help people, is the same joy the person who wants to help needs. By saying no, I was taking away the opportunity that they needed by serving others and being a blessing to me.
I have this burning desire to live my life by serving others. I feel that as a Christian we are born to bless God and those around me. My husband doesn’t understand this in many ways. I would hope that throughout my live that people have felt bless by allowing me to serve them by helping them in whatever way I could.
There was a sweet little lady named Dena Allen. She went to my church. Because of Dena I was given the gift of knowledge. Dena was a teacher and she loved to talk about her childhood. Dena lived alone by the time I met her. Her husband passed away a few years before I met her. Her son Howard was a drug addict and his drug of choice was heroine. Dena was the kind of person that made me want to do more. She educated me in so many areas. Most of all, she blessed me by sharing her life.
We would sit on the phone for hours and talk about anything and everything. We had many conversations about the Bible. All of our conversations would begin around 10pm and go till around 2 or 3 am. As I listened to her life stories, I realized how lonely she was. She needed someone to talk to during those times because she didn’t feel alone. She would ask me about my life and I would say very little. I didn’t want to share certain parts of my life. My life had a lock on it and unless you knew the combination, nobody would be able to enter. Dena and God changed all of that.
My sister Joyce and I spend a lot of time just sitting and talking. Joyce and I share many experiences and while I don’t like to accept help, she knows when I need help the most. There are times when I would get angry with her because she wanted to help. In my mind, there wasn’t anything she nor anyone else could do to make things better. I was strong, or so I thought and I alone could conquer the world and do it “my way.” Of course that wasn’t the way things turned out, I would say I was a bit delusional when it came and comes to accepting help.
Both of us started sharing our experiences, pains and heartaches we were having or have had in our life. When I think about the conversations I would have with Dena Allen and with my sister Joyce, I would say that the best things about our talks is that we all were blessed because of the experiences that we shared.
My best friend Lisa has also taught me that it is OK to allow people to help you. I feel blessed by Lisa each and every day. Lisa won’t take no for an answer. Well, my sister Joyce won’t either, lol. I guess God knew that I needed people who are just as stubborn as I was in order for me to learn the whole “blessing” thing.
I have been overly blessed when it comes to my friendship with Lisa. When I first met her, I thought I was going to have to swoop in and save the day with her. I don’t think I have ever said that to her,lol. Let’s be honest here, I thought she was a mess. Her life was very chaotic. I have never known anyone like Lisa. Lisa is a veteran and served in the Navy. She is a motorcycle momma, tattooed and had fire engine red and at times other colors. I had a person tell me that I should stay clear of Lisa because of how her personal life was. Well, let me say this, I am SOOOOOOOO happy that I didn’t listen to this person.
With my sister Joyce, I also felt like I was going to go in and save the day. She needed saving in my mind. She made some bad choices in life and like Lisa, she has tattoos, smokes and she will tell it like it is. Her life was a mess also. For a long time I would think that I was so happy that I wasn’t as screwed up as Joyce. I do want to say that these thoughts were many years back for the most part. But, I felt I was the one and only person to save my sister. I must have thought I was “underdog”. If you don’t know who “Underdog” is. It is a beagle that was like a superman kind of beagle dog and he says, “Have No Fear, Underdog is Here.” God eventually let me know that I was as screwed up as the rest of the world and that wasn’t a good reality check, but a very much-needed one.
It wasn’t until I had so many life threatening health issues that are still in play that I realized that I wasn’t Underdog and I wasn’t the one saving the day. It is God who is saving the day by putting people like Lisa and Joyce in my life. It isn’t about giving something, money, objects and time. It has nothing to do with material things. It is about encouraging one another by sharing God’s Word.
As we go about our day I would like to ask if you have a goal when it comes to being a blessing to others?
- Ephesians 4:29 “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.”
Serving others not only blesses them, but it equally blesses us.
I have been doing a lot of thinking lately about my church and those in my church and Pastor Ray and his lovely wife Kathi.
- Ephesians 4:11-13, So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ
Pastor Ray and Kathi came to us a few years ago and I don’t know about anyone else, but I have been very much blessed by them. The reason I say that is because for the longest time I have felt like our church is a dying church. When Pastor Dean was there, he was able to bring about a lot of positive changes. Our church was growing and life was coming back. For me, I still felt something was missing. What I felt was missing is reaching out to those in our community. We were writing checks to help with missions and outreach, but there was very little outreach when it came to those in our own community. St. George is a unique mission field and my church is directly across the street from the University. And yet, we were sitting in our pews, singing songs and listening to sermons, but not really getting out there and talking to those around us.
- Ephesians 4:14-16, Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming. Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ. From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work
I realize that not everyone has a gift for missions and reaching out to others. But, God made each and every one of us and we each have a unique talent and skills. When we accepted Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior and into our lives, we are given at least one spiritual gift. We get the most happiness and blessings that make a difference when we use our God-given talents and gifts.
What I have noticed is that when Pastor Ray and Kathi came here is that Pastor Ray also has the gift of missions and reaching out to those around him and those most would never want to be around. He see’s past what the outside may seem like. I believe that pastors have a number of gifts and not all use them. Pastor Ray does. I had almost given up on our church. People were content to just be there. Not everyone, but many do.
When we shift our focus away from ourselves and serve others, our eyes are opened up to see others as Jesus would see them. Serving others helps us be more like Jesus. Pastor Ray is a great example of this. There are times he is the only person that shows up to events.
- Matthew 25:40, “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’
As we work side by side with other people, bond form and this was part of God’s plan when it comes to how the church is supposed to work.Eventually there comes a time where we need to move out of our comfort zone. This is something I have a hard time with at times. Over the past few years, I have seen that when we see what God can do when we let God work within ourselves, we start looking for the doors that He is opening instead of pushing our way through the ones that have already closed.
- Hebrews 10:24 -25, And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.
- Ephesians 3:20, Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us,
I have found time after time that when I serve others, it is the best distraction from my own worries. I have had many ask me why I do what I do when health wise I should be in bed and not really do much. All I can say is that I know that God will give me the strength to do what I have to do and what He needs me to do. If He can give Moses the words to speak to Pharaoh, then He can give me the strength to do whatever it is that has to be done. Even if I am the only one standing outside handing out fliers, that’s OK.
There are many at my church that are the same way. I know they may not like me giving them a shout out, but I will. And that’s because they serve others even when they struggle to get out of bed or they struggle with health issues.
- Pastor Ray: He is willing to stand alone on street corners if that is what it takes to share the Gospel.
- Bruce B: Bruce and his lovely wife Pam shows up to set things up, tear things down, serve people for hours on end, even when they are exhausted. There have been times they were the only ones there when others said they would be there.
- Barbara A: She serves people each and every week at church. She has the secret ingredient called “love”. She won’t go into her hardships and she will work through them. Barbara has always answered God with, “yes”, I will do that.
- Bob W: God has given him the gift of working with his hands. He made a beautiful wooden cross by hand for our church. Bob serves the Lord in so many ways. I am sure in ways I don’t know about and ways that only he and God knows.
- Kitchen Helpers: Each and every Sunday there are many that show up to help serve others. No matter how tired they are, they have a smile on their face.
- Care Team: God has gifted some very special ladies when it comes to loving others and serving them. We have Shirley M, Evelyn, Peggi, Lyn, Grace, Sheila and so many others that I lose track of.
- The Vincents and the Parkers: Tom, Sandi, Paul and Lucretia amaze me when it comes to the dedication they display. They love others and serve the Lord in countless ways.
I normally don’t name names, but this time I want to. All of these people and many more that I haven’t mentions has encouraged others and when we see the healing and love that comes from those who serve others as Christ would want us to, then we are encouraged to do the same and to be Christlike. I am willing to be that the reason they serve others and reach out to those that are living in our own mission field is because they feel like they got more than they gave.
There isn’t a day that goes by when I hear someone say that they wish they could talk to people the way I do. Or they wish they could do more, but they can’t because they can’t lift, walk, talk or whatever other excuse. What I would say is that the Lord doesn’t always call the ones who are equipped; He equips the ones He calls. God used men and women who didn’t think they could do whatever it is that God wanted them to do, and yet they changed history. Again, like I mentioned before, Moses didn’t think he would be able to speak to Pharaoh, but God worked through Moses to bring Israel out of slavery.
Then you have Paul who used to kill Christians before he met Jesus and he became one of the most prolific writer and planted many churches. You can even look at David. I’m sure you have heard the story of David and Goliath. David was the youngest of all his brothers, but God worked through David to defeat Goliath by striking him down with a stone, and eventually made him a king.
In closing, I just want to say that there are many ways to show Christ’s love and to reach others. God has put missions and outreach on my heart. I know it isn’t everyone’s gift, but I sincerely believe that everyone should have the goal to let Jesus Christ’s love change someone else’s lives. You don’t have to go out knocking on doors, you can show Christ;s love by treating the other person as Christ would. Each and every person is special and Christ died for them and for you. When we see everything that God has done, we will want to share His love with others.
Be a blessing to others and allow others to bless you.