Saturday, September 20, 2014

Hello, gentle readers...

I've been thinking (always a danger) and considering my "ministry."  We know that "ministry" means to serve.  And ministry is truly that to which God has called me.  That ministry finds itself divided into different camps, so to speak.  Today I'm going to try to separate them out and share them with you.

The first is related to the picture above.  I am called to care and to listen.  I love communication. I love discussing things of importance.  Trivial things generally don't matter to me when it comes to knowing a person and caring deeply for them.  I question.  I contemplate the meaning of answers.  I love to help someone question their preconceived ideas and possibly consider a new thought.  The biggest obstacle to communication is not listening to genuinely hear what another says.  We are taught today to answer before listening. I  must admit this is a difficult one for me.  Now that I struggle with memory problems, I'm always thinking ahead and, disturbingly, jumping into conversations before I forget what it was I was thinking.  Because of that, I think I've lost a step or two on the ministry of listening intently to others and helping them see different ways of thinking. 

The second is related to working with those at end of life.  It has been a passion to help people cross over the threshold of heaven for some time.  In many cases, God asks us to just sit with those in difficulty.  We do not have to speak unless the one who is ill asks.  In my experience, most who are lucid at death want their loved ones. They want to talk about how they feel and the wonderful times they had together.  And at death, go peacefully into heaven.  Those who are very ill (or in some cases unconscious) simply need support.  They want someone to sit with them, provide comfort, hold a hand.  It is this eleventh-hour ministry that means so much to me.  When I worked at a cemetery, I had the privilege of burying several small children.  The families didn't want a lot of conversation.  They wanted comfort.  And it is to that ministry of comfort, I feel called and compelled to serve.

And the third, strange as it may seem, is a call to worship in music.  Yes, those who have known me for a long time know my love of music.  I, at one time, had quite a ministry and sang in many wonderful places.  But in His wisdom, God set that on a back burner.  I have wrestled with my health.  I have stopped playing my guitar, drums, piano, bass.  All have been quiet for many years.  I have a draw, a yearning, in my heart to begin again.  I don't know if I will regain my skill level.  Maybe the yearning is for my own edification.  Or maybe it is to share with a select few.  But if God opened the door for a higher calling in that area, I would make myself available to the Lord.  I bought a medium sized Djembe.  I have a small one.  Once my music area is set, I will set those up and begin working with them.  My guitars are tuned and ready.  I want to pick up some worship CDs and get my ear in tune, too.  

So those are the three main areas of the call of God on my life:  Listening and challenging the faithful and the seeking;  caring for those facing death and their families who are bereft and in pain;  using music to bring myself and those God puts on my path to a place of worship and reverence for our Almighty Lord and Savior.

What are your gifts?  What are your areas of ministry, service, to God and man?  We all have gifts given to us to help others.  Maybe you love children and can help in the nursery at your church.  Maybe you like being behind the scenes and help with setting up chairs and tables.  And maybe you like music and want to be the "guitar wrangler" at your church or setting up and breaking down the stage and pulpit.  Do you care about our young people?  Get involved in Youth Ministry helping teens find their way through the maze of temptations before them.

You get the idea.  We all bring something to the table.  So what's your something?  I challenge you to identify it and step out in faith using what you've been given!

Yours in the service of Christ,