|"Hey ladies how do you like my toupee?"|
(just felt the need to see my favorite buffalo again : )
(No, I didn't make the hair it's real)
© Karen Kyle Ericson, all rights reserved.
No matter what we look like, or do, He will never give up on us. Now that's good news for sure! They are still sorting out the issue with the children coming into the USA from Central America. One of the mayors in Arizona plans to go find out what is causing the exodus into our country from the source. The President is focussed on ideals, and Republicans, no idea if he plans to do anything so the kids can go home or ever actually listen to qualified people. God won't give up on him either (we'll keep praying).
It was really fun how my friend from one of my jobs contacted me and wanted to meet. She lives in Vermont and I'm far away in NJ. So we met in between. She told me that I led her to Christ at work. I was shocked, "I did?"
I'd go to work and share verses that I was excited about from my quiet times. We walked every day at lunch. She said that she really enjoyed it and she went on to read the Bible for herself. She joined a Christian and Missionary Alliance Church in Vermont. I think we make this stuff a lot harder than it is sometimes : )
1 I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called, 2 with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love, 3 endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. 4 There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling; 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism; 6 one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.
Paul calls himself a prisoner of the Lord again. I feel that way too. I never want to leave Him. He is asking us to be worthy of our name, "Christian."
7 But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ's gift.
8 Therefore He says:
“When He ascended on high,
He led captivity captive,
And gave gifts to men.”
9 (Now this, “He ascended” —what does it mean but that He also first descended into the lower parts of the earth? 10 He who descended is also the One who ascended far above all the heavens, that He might fill all things.)
When Jesus ascended to Heaven, He broke chains that held us captive and gave us gifts. There are so many He passed out. Some of us have more than one gift. My strongest gift is Encouragement. But I can do Evangelism and teaching as well. The spritiual gifts He gave us allow us to minister to others. One of the cool gifts is "Works". These are people that use hammers, nails, ovens and paintbrushes. They see a need and jump in. I remember Pres. Jimmy Carter jumping into Habitat for Hummanity and helping build homes for the homeless. All of our gifts are very cool and they were given to us to bless others. None are better or lower than anyone elses. And sometimes we want to have a gift but just don't. No harm, just try other things.
These verses describe formal titles and purposes for the people in these positions:
And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers,
You'll know I'm not a theologian for sure now : ) Ok an apostle is a person sent as a messenger to share the good news of Jesus. We usually only call people apostles who actually walked with Jesus. A prophet fortells future events. John the Baptist knew Jesus is the Son of God. Jonah prophesied to the Assyrians that they would be destroyed if they didn't repent. Evangelists are those called to share Jesus with others and lead them to Christ. Pastors are Church leaders who give sermons at Church and also shepherd people (help them stay on track). Teachers are those who help us figure out how to apply the Bible to our lives and how to use gifts (just my thoughts here).
- for the equipping of the saintsGod designed the Church to be dynamic and strong within. His vision is that we would be helping each other out with our gifts. I realize I'm independent : ) I believe our ministry is an individual calling to do what's in our hearts. I visited a woman in a Nursing Home for an extended amount of time. No one at Church told me what to do. I volunteered at the Nursing Home. I think that's what Jesus had in mind. We should also be equipped for those who cross our path. It could be playing hopscotch with a neighbor girl or passing out peanut butter and jelly sandwiches to homeless people. I've done both always cool! We also need to work together at times. Like singing in a choir or passing out food to homeless people.
- for the work of ministry
The name, "work of ministry" reminds me of missionaries overseas. It reminds me of street evangelism, and children's ministries. Men and women who are able to Pastor lots of people for extended periods of time. Our Church has an awesome ministry with children teaching them how to give gifts and help others from an early age on. We desperately need more of this in the USA. Our kids need some old fashioned fun and to learn good from bad.
- for the edifying of the body of Christ
The cool part is, when we use our gifts and follow the little nudges to help others, we are building up the whole body of Christ. Of course we all mess up... But God never gives up. (1 Corinthians 1:9)
God must have known that as humans we would break into different denominations. He made us : ) Of course He would know our nature. In verse 13 He's telling us we will all be in unity one day. No more competition or comparing ourselves to others. I bet there's some amazing singers in Heaven not to mention the Angels : )
- to a perfect man,
- to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ;
- 14 that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting,
This is why I make sure to read the Bible for myself. Then I can recognize the truth. God has different messages for me each day.
- 15 but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ—
- 16 from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.
(Ephesians 4:1-16 NKJV)
Dear Heavenly Father,
I lift up the children who are leaving Central America. I pray the truth will be revealed as to what is happening to cause this. Please help these little ones be safe from harm and help the President understand and focus on the real problems of today. Comfort those in Iraq who are terrified. Let the right win and wrong fail.
Our Father in heaven,
Reveal who you are.
10 Set the world right;
Do what's best––
as above, so below.
11 Keep us alive with three square meals.
12 Keep us forgiven with you and forgiving others.
13 Keep us safe from ourselves and the Devil.
You're in charge!
You can do anything you want!
You're ablaze in beauty!
Yes. Yes. Yes .
(Matthew 6:9-13 Message)
In Jesus Name, Amen.
Here's a song from Peter Furler, Reach (link)