HOPE*ann*FAITH

Learning to Live , Again, On Purpose.


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A Calling and Obedience


Grace

Do you have a calling?

We all do.

Do you know whom that calling is from?

Not all do.

A calling on your life is not your choice of career, or a mother’s choice to be a stay at home mother. It is rather a knowing that these things we choose, these tasks we are passionate about, have something more to them.

Something important.

A calling, a personal passion of a particular talent or task, is our mission here on earth with one another and it is from God. I’d apologize to those who would prefer that I be more politically correct, but if you are here and reading you are acutely aware that I am a Bible Reading, Faith Girl in the Kingdom of God.

For this I will not compromise, nor will I apologize.

Our calling is: “A calling is God’s personal, individual invitation to carry out the unique task he has for you.” as defined by Jack Zavada in his article ‘Is God Calling You: How to Know When God is Calling You.’

So what does one do when they know they are called, but that calling is stopped mid-ministry? When our God Given Gift is stopped by say our Pastor or a leader, for an indeterminate amount of time; or say some life change gets in the way delaying or outright stopping this calling from being used?

God did give each of one of us, known or unknown by the individual, gifts and talents, and scripture says “let them…” in one translation and the NIV says “do it…” .

Romans 12:6-8

We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith;  if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach;  if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.

I am in a place where I am not able to utilize my gifts, my calling. Let me correct that, I was not, I have now been afforded the opportunity again to teach, which is just one of my callings!

The other is to write, which I would say to you I am not doing, but I must remind myself that blogging is most definitely writing! 🙂

But it was my leadership role, in my church, that was stopped when our church transitioned to a new pastor, location and name. Not only that, as if that would not be difficult enough on even the most mature of Christians (I am only a 10 year new creation, but mature enough), but the church’s feel or flavor has changed.

Let’s say the Church’s personality changed.

Ok, now what??

Obedience is that NOW WHAT! 

My thoughts were not so New Creation like! I had been obedient for 10 years. I had put in my time to get to the level I was at. I had put in my time!!! Very mature thinking, right! 🙂

Well, like I said, I have been once again afforded the opportunity to teach again, in a home group. My husband and I were asked to host a home group for our newly reformatted church. However, the free reign of the home groups were being reigned in by the new pastor. And while this is not a bad thing, it felt like the personal feel and comfortable-ness of the home groups were being formatted more rigidly.

It was our task to follow the pastors format for the group; we are reading through the Old Testament in a year.

Boring…History…Begats and all…like I said mature!

All that to get here…my I am a long-winded writer!

During today’s reading for our Chapel Street Bible Study (we live on chapel street, aren’t I cute!) tonight one of the required readings was chapter 12, The Call of Abram.

After reading the required chapters I wandered onto Facebook to see who might be hanging about, and there she was my beautiful partner in Christ!  Her and I have been struggling with the many transitions going on in our individual lives. The church’s transition we share. So this morning her status post was a call out to God for ‘just a nugget’, as she does in times such as these. There I was, holding that nugget.

I am always amazed at God’s faithfulness to answer us.

Genesis 12

The Call of Abram

1 The LORD had said to Abram, “Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you.

2 “I will make you into a great nation,
and I will bless you;
I will make your name great,
and you will be a blessing.
3 I will bless those who bless you,
and whoever curses you I will curse;
and all peoples on earth
will be blessed through you.”

During this God transition of our church, which I believe is an elevation of our, as a church and individually, of our level in Christ and God’s Kingdom. That elevation, however, is contingent upon our diligent obedience.

Abram was told to leave all he knew; so were the congregants of our church.

He was told to leave his people, his country and his father’s household!

Our church was our home, we had to leave and move on; God was moving us on.

We had to let people we loved and were literally and figuratively family move on to where God led them. We had to leave them to their choices. God was doing something new, with each of us!

We had to leave our country. Now this may be a longshot, but God spoke to me that this was the feel or flavor of our church, the personality. Our old church was pure and unadulterated Bible Based Faith.

Our new church is Bible Based Full Gospel, an expansion upon what we had been. Our territory has been expanded! An awesome thing, yet hard to adjust to.

We had to go to a land (Church) that God showed us. For some that meant not going together, but to another church, while others of us were called to remain and build this new vision with our new pastor.

To reach this new level, we had/have to remain obedient. We must not move until we know God is moving us, no matter what. The rub therein is that that move, we perseve, may not happen. It is my belief that being moved out of a church doesn’t happen to all of us, sometimes we are meant to serve for extended periods of time in one place, helping the pastor fulfill the vision. 

Knowing this is simple, like breathing. Doing this is difficult, like the endurance of holding your breath under water. For me anyway, but stand and serve I will!

So here is Miss Patty’s nugget; she is a mighty woman of faith and intercessory prayer, this I believe is her Calling. And God said to Abram, “I will make your name great and you will be a blessing…and all peoples will be blessed through you.” Genesis 12:2,3.

You see if we are courageous enough to be obedient when everything with in us cries to run to the familiar, He will bless us. It is our obedience to Him, in love, that allows Him to use us the way that He intended.

And He, knowing the end from the beginning, knows that we all will fulfill the calls he has upon our lives.

God has called each one of us to serve, and most of us serve a Pastor or Minister or even a Priest, God’s chosen. And while we, too, are God’s chosen the word does say that none of us can conduct our ministries before first serving under one of God’s anointed leaders. A task in being obedient; even God’s Son, Jesus.

Mark 10:43-45 “Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all. For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.

Obedience, to God and His will, that is how one activates their calling. It is true that only you and God know your calling, and no man can remove it, it also remains true that we must serve under another to have that call or ministry. We must do this cheerfully, in front of men and in private with God, and diligently, with a right heart. 

Difficult when one feels as though their entire world is disintegrating around them.

But God…

All things are possible with God.

Blessings Loves  ♥


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How Do I Love Him ♥ Let Me Count the Ways…


My Love ♥

First, Happy Valentine’s Day ♥

I was very busy that last two days. My love has finally moved me into the office.

Happy Valentine’s Day to me.

He even seems to like my quiet presence here.

Today, between putting my area of the office to my liking and respectfully cleaning off his desk, I read a few devotionals and the Facebook Valentine greetings from friends. I noticed a few of the women I follow in devotionals were discussing love and romance.

Romance, something I don’t understand, nor do I believe I was created to understand it. These ladies were not complaining about a lack of romance. They had come to a place were they were confessing in a way.

They were pointing out what they had thought true communication and romance were as compared to what they had come to know as true Romantic Communication.

I was glad to see that these wise women had come to the conclusion that was not the Hallmark version of Romance.

When you are married with children and careers, romance becomes something entirely different from Roses, Dinner, Wine and Chocolate. A mature love, whether you are young newly weds or an old married couple, is about investing time in truly knowing one another. When we truly know one another our romance becomes about everyday joys.

I wrote this two years ago, and it all remains true today. Unlike the roses that will fade and dry, the wine that will lose its flavor and the chocolate that, let’s be honest won’t last the week, this relationship my love and I have built is solid and forever. This is because we live and love each day by choice, truly waking and wanting to love the other.

I updated my article, not much as this remains true to our love; Do You Love Your Husband,  that I wrote on Helium, around this time 2009.

It really remains true. I am blessed.

Please enjoy this love letter about my love while I go and clean the kitchen from our Valentine’s Dinner and Jeopardy Date! That’s romantic to us. 🙂 Really, having times during the week that we set aside to enjoy the things we enjoy together and each other is our Everyday Romance.

                                                               ♥♥♥♥

Eight years of marriage; not much, some would say. Yet others would find that amazing.

Yet, our together began twenty-two years ago.

So much has happened in this vast amount of time.

Growth and learning, striving and working, life moving at the speed of light.

Time, during which miraculously, our spirits knit together. By twenty some years of purposeful love.

Purposeful Love…

We realized very early on that love is not a feeling. In these twenty some years we have learned: if the feeling love is what we used to knit, unraveling would soon occur.

No, we came to know that love is an act that we had agreed to choose. All intelligence aside, yes we are a learned two, we found that love is the result of that striving, growth, learning and work, that we put forth.

Now has it been easy? Yes would be a lie. There were days, many, when friendship saved the day. We both had very difficult relationships with others, before the us we are today. Only after much personal searching did we launch this relationship. At first, each vowing inwardly, unbeknownst to the other, that this was the last shot.

For many years, I believe it was four, friends and family thought they knew. But no one was ever sure. We each had children between us, from those difficult relationships. In the beginning it was their hearts we protected, our four little tikes. Our hearts, desires and necessities took second, third and fourth places, behind those little hearts. We hid our budding relationship from anyone it might hurt.

We loved, lived and supported one another. Building from a foundation of friendship, we learned that this was the most secure way. Our affection for one another was derived from genuine like. The time we spent with one another was platonic, even at night. We read, we talked and sat in silence, always secure in the thought that God had a sense of humor, and we were somehow alright.

Yes, I said God. We were not practicing any religion. And God knows we were not following any commandments. Yet, somehow deep within us, we both came to the same revelation. The knowledge that God had put us together. We often look back and see His hand, amazed at His faithfulness to two souls who He meant to be one. To this day we believe it was for His own personal entertainment. I mean our creator is a funny guy.

The differences in our beings complement the other, naturally. Enhancing that, from across a room we can speak volumes with our eyes. We stop each other daily, knowing what the other will say. Still after all of this time we laugh, we laugh every day. And did I mention his smile still takes my breath away?

We love each other daily, through friendship and through truth. On mornings when I am not tip-top, my husband opens those striking blue eyes and smiles at me, starting my day again. Each morning we greet the dawn, with coffee in hand at one another’s side. We wipe the sleep from our eyes and begin another day. Our day to day is routine and secure in the knowledge that we have so much more.

We appreciate each other even when taking the other for granted. He tells me that I am beautiful and that he loves me every day. He even does laundry. He never says a disparaging word, even when I deserve it. I stand amazed at his fidelity and his fierce and honest love. Can anyone ever question that I’ve been blessed with this man’s love?

I choose this day, like yesterday, to love him everyday. I love him when he’s perfect and when he’s out of line. I love his body and his mind. I love his relationship with God. I love the way his heart betrays his macho when he speaks of our children in paternal love. I love that he wants for me what it is I want.

He encourages my dreams and imaginations. His eyes make me believe. I love that he’s smart and beats me at Jeopardy! I love that we like each other. I love that he chose me. I choose him over and over again, until eternity.

Do I love my husband? Yes, as deeply today as each day of the last 22 years.

                                                           ♥♥♥♥

Blessings Loves ♥ I wish you love and joy.