Friday, February 21, 2014

Laborers of the Harvest

Labor (noun)
1. a. Physical or mental exertion, especially when difficult or exhausting; work.
    b. Something produced by work.
2. A specific task.
3. A particular form of work or method of working: manual labor.
4. Work for wages.

Labor (verb)
1. To work; toil: labored in the fields.
2. To strive painstakingly: labored over the needlepoint.
3.a. To proceed with great effort; plod: labored up the hill.
   b. Nautical To pitch and roll.
4. To suffer from distress or a disadvantage.

God has given me my new Harvest of Kiddos, and I now know what it means to be a laborer. Labor is hard work, exhausting, painful at times, but ultimately rewarding.  My kiddos are a tough group, but I love them.  I am laboring in nearly all of the sense of the word for the glory of God.  I hope and pray that I am sending that message.  I will come up with some daily measureable goals such as reading my Bible each day before work. Journaling and praying daily.  Prayer can happen anywhere; I can pray on my way to work as long as I don't close my eyes while driving.  I can seek God in the moment rather than asking forgiveness after acting in the flesh.

Today in fact, I had to calm myself down with my own advice that I had given to a student earlier this morning.  I was getting emotional over something very little and insignificant in the big grand scheme of things.  God has called me to labor specifically with kids, but as a disciple, I am called to make disciples unto Christ.  Because labor is exhausting, hard, painful, physically and mentally demanding; I don't think many people want to be laborers. 
 Jesus states, "But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd. Then saith he unto his disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few; Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest." (Matthew 9:36-38, emphasis added).
The laborers are few 
Few. As in not very many.  A little.  There are few people that want to labor for much of anything.  Of that few, there aren't many that want to labor for Christ by bringing lost souls to a saving knowledge of Christ and a transformed life as a disciple of Christ.

Pray ye therefore...
We can pray for laborers.  We can pray for each other and hold each other accountable as laborers for Christ.  I seek to be a laborer in the harvest for eternity's sake.  As of right now, God has given me a ripe harvest of kiddos with hearts that are breaking with the desire to be loved and understood.  I pray I can be the laborer to till the hearts of these kiddos and plant some positive seeds of love, Christ's love, and acceptance in their hearts.

Are you a laborer?
Are you working for the Lord in the harvest He has prepared for you?  Are you working the land and planting the seed in the hearts of those around you?  God never said it would be easy, but He did promise to be there through it all.

 For the Glory of God,

Saturday, February 15, 2014

"She Shall be Praised"

The Valentine's day hooplah is now coming to an end,
candy hearts and overstocked sweets are now marked down and greet you at your local grocery store like sad rejected misfits that weren't chosen to brighten someone's special day.

I am sure there are people that may feel the same way after this over the top day to celebrate love. Discounted and rejected because that special someone has not yet entered their life or they have loved and lost.  The desire for romantic love can choke out any happiness or joy in life if you allow it.  Being single doesn't have to equal sad, alone, and hopeless.

This has been a struggle for me, but I am learning to trust God each day.  God also has some wonderful advice for women on this very issue.We are to be wise and build up (Proverbs 14:1) we are to fear the Lord rather than be concerned with the favor and beauty of this world (Proverbs 31:30) Single women, care about the things of the Lord seeking to be holy in body and in spirit and serve the Lord without distraction (at least that is what we are supposed to do) (1Corinthians 7:34-35).

Wisdom~Women are to be wise, so where do we get wisdom?  We get wisdom from the Lord.  How do we get wisdom?  We get wisdom by fearing the Lord. According to Proverbs 9:10,  "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding."

Fear the Lord~How do we fear the Lord?  The Instistute in Basic Life Principles defines it this way, "To fear God is to desire to live in harmony with His righteous standards and to honor Him in all that you do." Easier said than done, right?  First it begins with the desire.  When we desire to live for God we will begin to put some action behind that desire and find out what His standards are and how we can honor Him.

Cares for the things of the Lord~When we fear God, we get wisdom and will begin to care for the things that matter most to God such as serving others and reaching them with the Good News of the gospel.

Holy in body and spirit~God is holy, and as we seek Him we will want to become like Him.  I think it is interesting to note that we will become holy in body and spirit.  Our body is from God and needs to reflect His glory just as much as our spirit.

Serve the Lord without distraction~According to the Word of God, single women can serve the Lord without distraction.  The distraction of a husband, I assume.  This is not to say marriage is inferior or wrong or singleness is a higher form of holiness.  Singleness just affords a specific opportunity to serve God (if one so chooses) that doesn't come with marriage.  The key is to actually take hold of it and serve God in your singleness.  Singleness is not a place to put your life on hold waiting around for the one that will sweep you off of your feet.  It will have moments of waiting, but ultimately you should be living your life to the full in accordance to God's will.  Distractions come in all shapes and sizes.  In today's technology-driven and fast-paced world, it is easy to get lost in all of the things that are constantly grabbing for our attention.  TV, computers, phones, social media, and that constant desire to be plugged in and not out of the loop. This makes serving the Lord without distraction that much harder.  It can be done, and God is there for us every step of the way.  We just need to seek Him and learn how to fear him.

For the Glory of God,

Monday, February 3, 2014

My New Harvest!

I returned a call to a principal on Friday after chatting with my adopted grandma.  The principal informed me that I got the teaching assistant position.  I was so excited.  I said something like this: "Yay! I would love to have the job."  She informed me the process of which I am no stranger would take some time.  The excitement of knowing I now have a job after over four months without employment was a major answer to prayer and a big blessing.  I was at the point to take any employment outside of ministering to children and even risk working on Sundays.
Children are my heart and calling.  I love the opportunity I am given to love on and teach them life principles as well as reading, math, history, and so on.  I look forward to shine the light of Christ and His love through my life and example.  God is so amazing.  He has blessed me with another harvest of kiddos.  I am looking forward to meeting them, and I hope I will make a difference for eternity's sake.

For the Glory of God,

My Best Effort is NEVER Good Enough

Filling out a job applictation:  "Were you ever terminated or discharged from a previous job?  Why?"
I think long and hard on my answer.  My best effort didn't measure up.  My best effort...
As I ruminate how to answer this question, I hear the lyrics to Matthew West's song "Strong Enough" float around me and my answer hits me like a ton of bricks.  My best effort.  I can't do it on my own.
That is kind of the point...I can't do anything without God.  The days are a little fuzzy now.  I remember the stress.  I remember wanting to do everything well. I neglected God till the stress was overwhelming.  It was a different kind of wasn't a defensive kind.  It was a balance thing.
The stress of a more than full time job stopped.  The struggle now became what to do with my time. Yes, I have job searched.  Nothing.  I have been able to serve more at my church, go to women's Bible study, help out neighbors, make new friends, and more.  There is a certain flexibility with not having a specific job.
My best effort will never measure up in a job, a fitness and food program, or in church service.  I can't do anything on my own.  I am only good and can only do good through Christ.  Apart from Him, I can do nothing.  It is a daily surrender~a heart, mind, and spirit matter.  This is easier said than done.  I hope and pray that I will surrender each day, each moment, and each breath to my Lord.

For the Glory of God,

"To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:"
~Colossians 1:27