Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. (James 4:8)

Posts tagged ‘Church’

Here Am I, Send Me! (part 2)

Candle in the Dark

By Lisa Nordell-Detres

The third fallacy I want to address applies more to the small churches whose few volunteers are burned out because they alone feel the need to keep everything going. Members in small churches hesitate to volunteer for anything besides Vacation Bible School one week a year for fear that they will be trapped in the nursery forever. There are two principles that need to be remembered by those dedicated saints who are hanging on by a thread.

First of all, pray that God will give you a clear set of priorities for your church’s ministries and then let the others drop for a season. Either God will bring helpers in to pick up those peripheral duties or they will cease to exist until others pick it up. The important thing is to stay focused on the Great Commission of Matthew 28:18-20 and make sure that if nothing else, Biblical teaching is provided for all ages in the church.

The second principle is one that I found to be extremely liberating, as spoken by Charles Swindoll several years ago, “The need does not constitute the call.” This only applies to those who are already actively engaged in ministry. If you are a “pew potato,” that quote does not excuse you from volunteering. This principle applies to those who understand the facet of love that sees a need and rush in to fill that need without counting the cost. This doesn’t mean that we turn a blind eye to those in need around us, but rather we start looking for others whom God has equipped to fill those needs and recruit them to step into that service. This may even mean directing them to the ministry of another church or organization whose core strength may be providing the service that is needed.

This thought leads to the fourth fallacy of Christian thinking: our local church has to do it all. Take a good look at your congregation and make an objective evaluation of the core strengths of the people. Remember, God has equipped us all for specific tasks, and if the church down the street is running a soup kitchen for homeless people and your heart is with the homeless, go there to volunteer rather than trying to start another soup kitchen in your church. Hopefully, you will keep membership at your church, but either way, working together to make one community ministry the best it can be is much more productive and efficient than starting ministries that are improperly staffed. Pray for God’s guidance and resist the temptation to start any new ministries at the expense of those already in place.

The most important thing to know is that we all have a job to do for God and we need to be willing to serve Him by using our gifts and talents to serve others. Now, go serve!

Lisa Nordell-Detres is a mother of four, grandma to two boys with a third on the way (!), a pastor’s wife and has worked in the garment and customer service industries in southern California. Besides writing, Lisa enjoys cooking, sewing, organic gardening, hiking, skiing and doing most anything outside.

Lisa was born and raised in Denver, Colorado, studied Christian Apologetics at Simon Greenleaf University, holds a Bachelor’s of Science in Fashion Design from Woodbury University and an MBA from California State University at Northridge. Lisa, her husband and their youngest child now live in central Oregon.

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Q & A with Katherine Weaver (part 2)

Simple thingsXL

I had the privilege of interviewing Katherine Weaver, the author of seeing God in the simple things early in 2013 and here is the second half of that interview.

Lisa: Are the people in your church receptive to you since your divorce?

Katherine: That was difficult because we were attending the church where I worked. I’m not one to talk about the trouble we were having in our relationship, but unfortunately, I was alone in that. Everyone was devastated when we split and he didn’t tell them the whole story, only that I was the unrelenting b**** who kicked him out. The environment became so stressful, that I stopped attending that church even though I did keep my job. I was getting lectured by people who weren’t there. No, it was not fun.

Lisa: But that kind of made you who you are now?

Katherine: It has given me more strength.

My pastor was saying, “If you look at King David, he had quite a journey in his life. If you look at the different points in his life and say, ‘That time he spent playing music for sheep in the meadow was wasted time. And the time he was in the wilderness when King Saul was trying to kill him, and all he did was run for his life that was wasted time.’ All he was trying to do was get to his rightful place as king, no. In the wilderness, David learned to follow authority even when it’s wrong and he learned how not to be king. He learned lessons in the wilderness that were not just another stepping stone, those were important lessons.”

The last 5-6 years in my life have been my wilderness. I have been doing some treasure hunting to find what I learned in the wilderness. I have learned some important things, but it was not fun.

Lisa: Did that experience help you find out where God is?

Katherine: I found out who God is. That is so important, when you watch him take us through something like that, we learn who He is and we lean more on Him. He becomes real.

Lisa: Will you be writing more books?

Katherine: Yes, I have more essays that are ready for the 2nd book, but that is in the background. I am developing retreat curriculum that is an expanded version of one of my speeches. It’s called Lizards and Dragons. It’s about how the issues in our lives (like anger, resentment and fear) can start out as little lizards, but if we don’t deal with them, they turn into dragons. The second book is coming along, but Lizards and Dragons is where I am living at the moment.

Katherine Weaver’s book, seeing God in the simple things is available for purchase online from Tate Publishing:
http://www.tatepublishing.com/bookstore/search.php?search=Katherine+Weaver

Please visit Katherine’s website at booksbykatherine.com.

Yes, He Did!

Image

-By Lisa Nordell-Detres

For nearly two thousand years, Christians have been celebrating Good Friday and Easter. One event, the execution of an innocent man, happens all too often while the other event only happened once. Two thousand years later, Jesus Christ is still the topic of much discussion and misunderstanding. Regardless of your personal opinion about Jesus, this man has some serious staying power!

“Who do men say that I am?” Jesus asked His followers. People still entertain that question today. For those who think that Jesus was a great teacher, you are right. Jesus taught the law of love, He taught the golden rule. Jesus also taught that He was one with God the Father and that He (Jesus) was the only way to get to God. Yes, He taught that. Some people think that Jesus was a prophet. They are also right; He prophesied that He would be crucified and then rise from the dead three days later. All of His prophesies came true with the exception of those that referred to the end of the world. Yes, Jesus accurately prophesied his own death, burial and resurrection.

Many people can’t believe that Jesus came back from the dead, but there is more than enough evidence to support this fact. There were hostile witnesses, the Roman Guards who were bribed to make up a story about what happened to Jesus’ body (Matthew 28:11-15). There were hundreds of eye witnesses to the risen Jesus (I Corinthians 15:3-8); even one of His own followers, Thomas, could not believe until he had seen Jesus alive (John 20:24-29).

Jesus changed peoples’ lives. Billions of lives, starting with His own followers, who cowered in an upper room after His death but then a few weeks later for the rest of their lives, boldly preached the Gospel of Jesus Christ. All but one were martyred for their faith in Christ. Despite the forces that have stood to exterminate Christians from early Rome until the worldwide persecution that millions of Christians face today, the Church continues to grow because Jesus is still changing lives. Yes, He does! If you let Him in, He will gently and lovingly change your life. Yes, He will!

Lisa Nordell-Detres is a mother of four, grandma to two boys, a pastor’s wife and has worked in the garment and customer service industries in southern California. Besides writing, Lisa enjoys cooking, sewing, organic gardening, hiking, skiing and doing most anything outside.

Lisa was born and raised in Denver, Colorado, holds a Bachelor’s of Science in Fashion Design from Woodbury University and an MBA from California State University at Northridge. Lisa, her husband and their youngest child now live in central Oregon.

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