Plentiful

 

harvest field

 

Matthew 9: 36-38  When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.  Then he said to his disciples, The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few.  Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.

Eastside Mission had it’s kick-off community block party outreach yesterday.  I must say it was absolutely amazing to be back on the streets after 8 months of “being still” and waiting on God.  During the 8 months God was growing, stretching and preparing us as He was about to expand our borders.  After 4 years of inner city street ministry on Main Street in Hamilton we thought God had really given us a HUGE mission field.  Now, reflecting back we realize that was our time of preparation.  

Back to yesterday, we had all kinds of fun activities for our introduction into the neighborhood. Pastor Felix and I spent the time by getting to know our neighbors, meeting their families and talking about their needs and the community needs.  At one point, I remember standing a midst all the busyness of serving and lovin’ on people I had a count of 175 people that we were blessed to serve this day.  We have approximately 1700 people within immediate radius, we passed out 560 total flyers and served 175 men, women and children.   As I’m standing there and process all of the conversations I was having, watching the kids playing I am feeling overwhelmed with all the needs.  Trust me, the needs in this area are many!  As we suspected there is a lot of heroin and addicted mommies and daddies.  Many generations living together in small houses and not being able to make the ends meet.  

For some time leading up to the kick-off and even more today we have been posting pictures, sharing needs, asking for volunteers and I’m starting to feel myself getting stressed about how in the world are we going to accomplish this.  This is 4x what we did and served over on Main Street.  God what in the world are you thinking?  So as I’m starting into that familiar tailspin I pick up my bible and I start reading about Jesus going into a city and Him telling the disciples that the harvest is plenty but the laborers are few.  Man God is so awesome 2,000 years ago He knew that there would be a great need for workers in the harvest field.  God knows we are facing many needs financial, volunteers, supplies, etc. but God ALSO knows that the laborers are few; therefore, as He is guiding me in His word to ask Him to send out workers into His harvest field.  Because bottom line – He has given Pastor Felix and I the charge of stewardship over this mission and building His church among these un-reached people and whether He sends us 2 or 20 we are going to praise Him, serve others and glorify our God as we pray for God to send the laborers.  Won’t you take a minute and join us in praying for this harvest field and the workers to serve in it!!  God might also be calling you to take a step out, he may be calling you to step outside of the church you are comfortable in with the friends and family you love and do some water walking!

Praise Him!!

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My Journey To Minimalism – Week One

bed area beforeMy nightstand beforehubby's nightstand beforecloset before 1closet befre

In process

 

 

 

 

Before Pictures

 

I began my search last year into a simpler, quieter, more peaceful life. I was determined to clear the clutter not only out of my house but out of my mind and life. I’ve read many books and blogs on this topic and as my search continued I knew I wanted . . . no, needed to become minimalist.

As I researched, I realized that I needed to slow down so

that first and foremost I could hear God’s voice. I was realizing that I lived a very busy life always running around trying to fit everything in and make it there on time. Well, that’s enough to wear a person out. As I went about my every day over commitment I began to notice all the clutter around me and all the noise going on in my head.

As I dug deeper I began realizing that minimalism goes against our consumer driven hectic lifestyles that living the American Dream encompasses. We are bombarded with advertisements and infomercials telling us we need to purchase the latest and greatest products to make us happy. So in an effort t

o accumulate more we work more hours to make more money because, after all, that is where happiness can be found; right. WRONG!

Now, you may be thinking, “does this mean that you will be living only out of what you can fit in a suit case?” For some, perhaps but for me it means that I am in pursuit of a much simpler, quieter and clutter free life.

I would love for you to join me on my journey whether in reading about it or finding a way that min

imalism will work for you. I can tell you I am excited about where this path will lead. So, with that said I’m jumping in with both feet . . . Here I go.

The first area in my physical living space I have decided to de-clutter

is my bedroom. My bedroom is my sanctuary, my peaceful private place. However, these days it’s been so crammed full of stuff that my closets are busting at the seams and my dresser drawers are overflowing. My first area that I tackled was my closet and boy oh boy did I have a crammed packed mess. During this week when all was said and done I had boxed up a total of 13 totes full of clothes that I had not even worn in years but, hey, it may come back in style or I may get back down to that size. Um Nah. I can tell you that I am looking forward to mornings free of the stress of trying to figure out what to wear.

This particular part of the process took me exactly one week and several passes through to get it to where I feel ligh

ter. The first phase was pulling out the obviously outdated and just plain ugly clothes. You know, the ones you got for a bargain and couldn’t pass up but never wore. For me, this was the easiest phase. A couple days later, I looked again and really took stock in what actually still fits me. I decided that it does me no good to have smaller sizes for my weight loss journeys and the larger sizes for when I eat too many gobstoppers and coca-cola. So, I toss aside all the clothes that did not fit me right now today. The last phase I must say was the most difficult for me and that was to narrow down my clothing choices just because I have too man

y clothes. The end result, I have so many totes for women’s clothes in a plethora of sizes that I am giving away to the local commun

ity that we serve. That my friends makes it all worthwhile.

Now, for the nightstands, over the years I have managed to turn a total of four drawers into junk drawers. If I was reading a book, I would shove it in the drawer. If I was keeping a journal or three or four it would go in the drawers. Oh, and let’s not forget all the lotions. I think I had a different bottle for everyday of the week. And the pens that I discovered, needless to say I will keep the café in supply for at least the next year.

Last but not least I decided that I needed to part with some of my much loved knick knacks t

hat I have sitting all over the place. Even though they match my furniture and are just too stinkin’ cute the only role they play is dust collector. So, I picked a couple of my favorites and I am goin

g to donate the rest.

A week, a good dusting and vacuum later I have a clutter free oasis. A quiet place where I can come to at the end of the day, snuggle tightly under the covers and let out a nice comfortable sigh.

Next week I will be moving on to the second area of the house where I spend most of my time, the living room.

Before you leave make sure you check out my before and after pictures then leave me a comment to keep me going on my journey of minimalism. Friends, good night and God Bless.

After Pictures

Bedroom 1
Bedroom 2shoe storage aftercloset floorCloset 2 after bedroom after 3

Hubby's nightstand aftercloset 1d

Stewards

 

STEWARDS

Being a steward is someone who takes care of someone else’s property. God owns everything we just possess it.  As Christians we were bought with a price. We are stewards over our body, influence, talents, attitudes, money, possessions, and time.

1 Corinthians 6:19-21 (NLT) 19 Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself, 20 for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body.

 God has given us freewill; however, we have to keep in mind that one day we will answer to God as to how we were stewards over what He has allowed us to have.  Since we belong to God we are responsible to Him for what we do with what we have, do, say, act, etc.  I want to look at a few areas in our lives that God owns but has given us stewardship over.

First, our body:  Romans 12:1-12 And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him.

 Our bodies now belong to Him, for His use we are to keep it clean, holy, and healthy.  Do we keep our selfish desires of the flesh in check?

Second, our influence:  If you claim to be a Christian you must realize by now that people will watch you more close.  What do your peers think of you?  Does your influence make your peers want to be a Christian because of what they see in you?  Does your influence lead them to or away from God?

Third, our attitudes:  Do you allow God to control your attitude or do you allow your circumstances dictate your attitude.  If you are having a particularly rough day will it reflect in your attitude?  How is your attitude toward the people in your life and your own household? Are you focusing on everything that is wrong and negative instead of the good or positive?  At some point in our lives we have faced challenges; a loss of a loved one, loss of a job or a home, an illness or sudden injury, those things we have no control over; however, we do have control over our attitudes during trials.  Our attitudes should reflect our position as God’s child not our current circumstance or trial.  Rejoice at all times, even in the bad.

Fourth, our talents:  God has gifted us with certain abilities and talents that we need to use for His glory and edification of others not our egos. Romans 15:2-3  We should help others do what is right and build them up in the Lord. For even Christ didn’t live to please himself. As the Scriptures say, “The insults of those who insult you, O God, have fallen on me.”

We are to be faithful in what we were given and not covet others gifts, talents, abilities or ministries.

Fifth, our money and possessions:  In an article I seen it was stated that 29% of all Christians tithe.  Wow!  What a statement.  I can’t help but wonder do these people really even know God.  Because it is apparent to me that if you know God then you live your life in total surrender to Him and His will; right?  After all, did we not forsake all for the call.  We buried the old man and put on the new in Christ.  If you want to know where people’s hearts are then follow where their money goes.  Then you will find what interests them most.

Material Possessions if we are covetous to give then we are rebellious to God.  Take a look at the rich young ruler.  He loved his possessions so much that he gave up eternal life with Jesus Christ to hold on to his wealth.

Sixth, our time:  How many times have we heard or said, “there’s never enough time in a day” or  “where did the day go, time flies.”

Ephesians 5:16 (NLT) 16 Make the most of every opportunity in these evil days.

What are we spending our time doing?  Are we wasting time on things that are eternally unprofitable?  Yes, we do have to work, eat and sleep but we should do a schedule check to make sure we are using our time for God and the things of God.  We have so little time to do what we are called to do we better stop wasting it.

James 4:14 (NLT) 14 How do you know what your life will be like tomorrow? Your life is like the morning fog—it’s here a little while, then it’s gone.

We are living on God’s time.  Every day is a gift from God and we will be accountable to Him with what we do with our day.  Once the day is gone the time is lost and we can never regain that time again.   As I was doing this study it was touching upon the youth we are charged with raising and teaching.  When we take our kids to church what are we looking for in a youth group; classes, groups, or activities?  So, I did some searching and checking back into the recesses of my time as a youth and here is what I came up with.  Back in the day we spent time with other youth groups doing sword drills and listening to God’s Word. Today we are so busy in our churches that just like the adults if we can woo them in with all the glitz and glamour of what we have to offer then it is the same for the kids and the parents will want their kids there as well.  It is just time to stop worrying about hurting feelings and speak the truth.  We are filling our kids with so many activities that we leave them very little time for God’s house and when we do finally take some time to get them there for 1 hour a week we fill that time with religious activities.  We are losing our kids here and growing a generation of emptiness when it comes to the word of God.  After all, if we teach them about purity and modesty they won’t want to come back, so let’s go do some scavenger hunts, go to Kings Island, or whatever it may be.  We better wake up!!

Finally, the gospel.  Romans 10:13-15 (NLT) 13 For “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”14 But how can they call on him to save them unless they believe in him? And how can they believe in him if they have never heard about him? And how can they hear about him unless someone tells them? 15 And how will anyone go and tell them without being sent? That is why the Scriptures say, “How beautiful are the feet of messengers who bring good news!”

You have a responsibility in spreading the gospel whether it be on a foreign mission field, a hometown mission field, at your work place, or in your neighborhood you have a responsibility.  Either you are called to go or called to send.  I’m not talking about short term missions here I’m talking about the missionary that gives all to go live in an area and build relationships with the people and teach them the things of God and give them the gospel.

Do you accept the charge?

We must remember our bodies belong to God, our influence and attitude should be Christ reflective.  Our talents are a gift from God for His use and glory, our money and possession all belong to him not just the 10% we need to spend it the way He instructs us. Our short time on this earth we are commanded of God to spread the Gospel not waste the day.

 

Praise Him!