Monday, November 19, 2018

Missed Opportunies

We have little kids who live all around our church. They ride their bikes in the parking lot, they come talk to you when you are working outside and they come on Wednesday nights to AWANA club or youth group. They are great. You don't really know how many years they may visit but it doesn't matter. God's Word doesn't return void and them hiding it in their little hearts is so worth it.

We have a family who has three littles who have been coming for years. I have had all three kids in my class on Wednesday nights. I have seen a grandma bring them but never really visited with her much, just sometimes when she walked over to pick up the kids. This Halloween I had an opportunity to visit with her longer. Our church does a Harvest Party with game booths, Trunk or Treat and a chili feed. It is always a great event and the neighbors around our church have come to expect us to do it. My husband and I usually help. He runs the bbq for hot dogs, literally hundreds of them, and I usually do the face painting booth. The workers come early to set up and then eat their dinner before it starts.

This year I had just sat down with my chili and cornbread when I looked down the parking lot to my booth and someone was sitting in a chair waiting for me to come. It was quite early and I was not sure if maybe they were just resting but they continued to sit there and so I went down and realized it was the grandma. She looked sad and worn out. She then said to me, "My life is terrible and I thought you could paint flowers on my cheeks to make me happy."

I replied, "Sure" and then I asked what was up and told her that I enjoyed her grandkids. "I am not their grandma, I am their great-grandma," she quietly stated. She looked very forlorn. I finished painting her face trying to encourage her, then she left and I went back to my chili.

When I got home that evening and all the following week I prayed for her and was greatly troubled by the conversation. I brought it up with my small group Bible study during prayer time and said to them, "Here is someone right next to our church and we have been ministering to the kids for years but what else can we do for this great-grandma?" I wanted to go spend some time with her. She was ever present on my mind. For at least two weeks.

Then my husband contacted me this week while I am on my work trip. She had died this week. I am still in tears as I type this. I never shared the gospel of Jesus Christ with her. I had shared with 2 of the 3 kids but not with this woman who had sent these little ones to church for years. I do not know where she stood with God. I do not know exactly why the parents or other relatives are not caring for them and my biggest concern for the kids is, will we continue to help these kids or will they move and we will never see them again.

I have had other missed opportunities in my life where I just did not share with someone. OH dear ones. Do not let these opportunities slip by. I say this to myself as well. Pray for opportunity. Pray for boldness. Pray for compassion.

Romans 10:13-15, "Whoever will call upon the name of the Lord will be saved. How then shall they call upon Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him whom they have not heard?And how shall the hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach unless they are sent? Just as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of those who bring glad tidings of good things!

Friday, November 16, 2018

Deep In The Heart Of Texas

God is faithful. Oh so faithful.

I am on a trip to Texas. I have not spent much time here in Texas. Always wanted to but have just visited a couple times. I have been in Austin then today I head to Houston. I am visiting four dear friends whom I have not seen in awhile but the main purpose is to speak at a couple author events.

I have been a bit discouraged lately with book sales, the abundance of work to do on my next book, and getting speaking engagements. Tough work. I get riddled with doubt. Am I on the right path? What is my deepest desire? Then I remember once again that this has all been moving along because God has shown me how faithful He is and that He is the one who is sovereign and not me. He has it all worked out.

And then "poof!" an offer from a magazine appears, I sell some books and I get a new lead on a speaking engagement. And my Colossians 3:12 Ministries Team does some amazing things. They are the key. Having others around you who work along with you, support you and encourage you is so important.

And as I close in on finishing this next book I am even more excited for its completion. It is going to be so exciting! I already have two of my beta-readers asking for recipes. And I have new examples of folks being helped by others. So great!

Hebrews 10:35-36,"Therefore, do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward. For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God, you may receive what was promised."

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Colossians 3:12 Ministries

We have been going through Colossians at church the past few weeks. It is such a gem. It is packed full of amazing truths for us all. A couple weeks ago was the perfect sermon for me to hear. Especially since it fit so well with the new ministry that my team is working on implementing. My first book Not Really A Princess, gives an overview of the struggles my family went through while I was growing up. I grew up with a widowed mom and we had no income for awhile. Because of this, I have great concern for widows, single parents and orphans. Through the years I have been thankful for my husband being willing to help people even when we did not necessarily have extra to give. He has been so patient with me. He has a big heart and knows I would give everything away if I could. I know that 30 years ago he may have wondered about this but he never ONCE ever complained or told me I couldn't help someone. I am so thankful for that.

As I began writing my second book It's Not About The Pie, I wanted to encourage readers to welcome people into their homes. Our Colossians 3:12 Ministries Team has been working on ways to bring awareness to all of us on how we can show compassion to those in need. It is true that there are many other compassion ministries out there. But as I speak at conferences or Bible studies I wanted to be able to have a plan to show others where they could go to to get resources. This brings us to the sermon I am referring to recently hearing.  

Paul is writing to the church at Colossae telling them to take off  the bad - verses 5-8, "...Immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire and greed... anger, wrath, malice, slander and abusive speech...and in 3:12 it tells us to "...put on a heart of compassion, kindness, gentleness, and patience." We can not have our heart full of the negative if we want to reach others with the gospel of Christ. We need to clean out the closet before we fill it with good things.

I think sometimes we want to help others but we do not have the right tools to use to do so. Colossians 3:12 Ministries is just getting started and we will have ways to reach out to help others as we progress with this new ministry. The website is up and running. We are working on finishing it up. We are starting very basic but hope to encourage others to reach out to that single person you know, young or old. Also hoping that you can reach out to that older neighbor who may need help.

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