Thursday, September 11


"Having gifts (faculties, talents, qualities) that differ according to the grace given us, let us use them: [He whose gift is] prophecy, [let him prophesy] according to the proportion of his faith; [He whose gift is] practical service, let him give himself to serving; he who teaches, to his teaching; He who exhorts (encourages), to his exhortation; he who contributes, let him do it in simplicity and liberality; he who gives aid and superintends, with zeal and singleness of mind; he who does acts of mercy, with genuine cheerfulness and joyful eagerness. [Let your] love be sincere (a real thing); hate what is evil [loathe all ungodliness, turn in horror from wickedness], but hold fast to that which is good. Love one another with brotherly affection [as members of one family], giving precedence and showing honor to one another.
Never lag in zeal and in earnest endeavor; be aglow and burning with the Spirit, serving the Lord. Rejoice and exult in hope; be steadfast and patient in suffering and tribulation; be constant in prayer. Contribute to the needs of God's people [sharing in the necessities of the saints]; pursue the practice of hospitality. Bless those who persecute you [who are cruel in their attitude toward you]; bless and do not curse them. Rejoice with those who rejoice [sharing others' joy], and weep with those who weep [sharing others' grief]." Romans 12:6-15 (AMP)

Since September 11, I sat in a call center for cell phone information service and answered call after call of worried parents wanting to contact the administration at their children's schools and four planes took the lives of fellow Americans who began their day in the usual way that they did...I have been reflective of what my life means, where it is going, and would---in the final moments of my last breath---it have meaning.

It wasn't until three years later that I found the source of that meaning, and a scant few months later in the same year that He proposed His proposterous idea of what my service to Him would mean. Two churches, one chapel, and a new community later....I wonder if the next corner I turn will lead me into that call to ministry, or be another slammed door by those who feel that they know what God can do, even in the life of a redeemed sinner as myself.

"Not only has God given us natural abilities, He also equips every believer with spiritual gifts for the purpose of ministry. God doesn’t use the unwilling—He won’t force us to serve Him. His part is to equip us and empower and prepare us for service. Our part is to be faithful and available and aware of opportunities to use our gifts," writes Cindy Hess Kasper, Associate Editor for Our Journey at RBC Ministries and author of Today's "Daily Bread Devotion."

Four years, almost a month from now, God has been rooting around the cellar of my soul and tossing things into the scrap pile....widening the place for His word and His design to dwell in. A church left, another separated from, and a community that I had been a part of for five years in the rearview mirror of my car as my newly-divided family headed in the directions that were set for them. Me and my son in a community vastly smaller and more tight-knit than the one we left and my daughter to spend a season with her birth mother. A chapel left behind for this time, my sabbatical becoming a hiatus of indeterminal length. Change; not asked for or even wanted, but still led by God's call.........

I pass by the abandoned Jehovah Kingdom Hall on my longer drive to work each day, both ways. I still can see in my mind's eye the growth of a congregation of bible-believing and following people of the family.

With each step taken towards a God that I cannot fully define, but fully trust.
But this season seems different. As if that purpose to which God called me so long ago is right around the corner, so close I no longer have to envision what it would look like, but the shadowy outlines are becoming more and more defined as I stride closer to that corner.....

Relationships yet to be fully realized, others to be fully let go of. Hurdles to jump and some to knock down to walk over. Opinions to acknowledge and some to ignore.

I will follow in my Father's footsteps until I cannot follow anymore. I know that at that moment in time, He will pick me up and carry me home telling me that I have served Him well.

Like those souls who were taken from this earthly plane seven years ago at the hands of enemies of the United States of America AND of God, I started my day out like every other day.

I gave thanks to God for the blessings known, the blessing unknown, and those I've yet to encounter. For His love, His strength, and His purpose; imparted to me fresh each day. For His Son, who died so many centuries ago, for this soon-to-be forty one year old; that I might live.

And, I trust in the final moments of my life, as we saw so clearly in the accounts of countless others on that September day seven years ago, will find myself in the service of my Lord and Savior......until my dying breath.

Stop for a moment today and examine those Americans who aspire to the highest positions in the land. Would we want any of the four candidates to be on that plane that went down in the Pennslyvania countryside? Would they stand against the hopeless odds and face those who threatened our country? Or would they cower in the back?

Is your life in service to God lived in the same manner? Do you stand, regardless of the odds and declare yourself His---purposed by Him----and surrendered to His mission? Or do you cower in the back of the church, hoping to be passed by?
On a September day seven years ago, several Americans stood their ground and didn't count the cost. They call to us today; remember, honor, and never forget what being an American means. They call us to remember what being a child of God means.

Will we dishonor them?

Will we dishonor God?

I began this morning with a new request; one that I should have been praying for all these years.

God, give me the pride of a patriot, the wisdom of a Elder, and the mercy of Christ in my service to You today. That I may use my life spent for Your cause.

Truth. Honor. Service.

No comments: