- Downpour - leads believers to life up their eyes and return to the Lord. When we do, He will heal us...revive us...and restore us. That was the message God gave Hosea, and it's still true today.
- Espresso with Esther - a reminder of God's practice of using flawed people to accomplish His purposes in every age.
Both sound excellent and I know I will do both, just a matter of which one to do first. I think I will start with Espresso with Esther.
When I think of the story of Esther I am reminded that she was placed for a time and purpose for her people. I know the Lord has great plans for me and I enjoy seeing His hand working in my life.
For such a time as this....
- I think about the opportunity of living in Honduras for three years serving at an orphanage. I enjoyed my time and saw life in a way that was so different than my life here in the states. The poverty was extreme and yet I where I stayed we were extremely blessed by the Lord. It was like living in a little bit of the US in the middle of one of the highest crime areas in Honduras. We were well guarded by guards, as well as Angels watching over and protecting us daily. My time there was filled with good times and sad times. The blessings and memories I have from spending 3 years there are ones that I will not forget, although they fade a bit over time. I still remember when I see photos or the Lord brings different things to my mind.
- Operation Christmas Child was my next opportunity of ministry. I began volunteering in 2004 simply by being available for other churches and individuals to drop off shoebox gifts for children all over the world. When I first began volunteering I had no idea what the ministry was about, but I knew I was called to work with them. I have continued volunteering yearly with them to spread the news about the simple gift of a shoebox and how it can and does change the life of a child. Not only a child, but a family and on occasion an entire village. It is not what is put in the box that matters, it is the fact that we are obedient to packing the box to spread the message of Christ's love that is important. Even tho I have had the opportunity to serve in other countries, I realize that not everyone can. But, everyone can pack a simple shoebox gift to spread that love.
- I am reminded of my dear friend Bennie. Bennie was a retired Chaplain for Hillsborough county. He had faithfully gone to the jail every week for many years. One day, Bro Bennie had an accident and was no longer able to drive himself to the jail to minister to the inmates. The Lord had recently blessed me with a new car and as I was driving away from the dealership I remember praying to the Lord saying "Lord, wherever you want me to go this car is yours". The next Sunday in church Bro Bennie announced that he needed someone to drive him or pick him up from the jail ministry. I was intrigued and spoke with him only to find that the jail he went to was right around the corner from work. This was a divine appointment ordained by God. You see, I just needed to be obedient to His calling and my resources (my car). It wasn't out of my way at all. Bro. Bennie lived not to far from my house and it was on the way to and from work. In the beginning his daughter, Krista, would take him in the morning and I would pick him up in the evening. What a wonderful time of fellowship we had. This adventure started in 2005 and continued until this year 2013. Over time, he slowly began to decrease the amount of time he would do his ministry. At first it was weekly, then it went to bi-weekly. Occasionally he would take time off because of health issues, but would soon return. It wasn't until late last year that he retired from his ministry. Although, I know it was always in his heart. He went home to be with the Lord March 12, 2013. I so enjoyed the fellowship time we had. I know his family misses him terribly.
- This brings me to today. This past February I was privileged to join a group of ladies who call themselves Team Freedom. We are a group of ladies who are passionate about helping to stop human trafficking. We cannot all be on the front lines of this ministry, but what we do is join together to raise funds for Abolition International. Then, we all join together for the Princess Half Marathon to "run" for those who are not yet free to run. There are 27 million people enslaved today and that is 27 million too many people. We fight to help empower those who are equipped at assisting these individuals restoration. But, more importantly, I believe we are all praying for anyone involved from the girls enslaved, the pimps, the law enforcement and other agencies fighting against enslavement to those who are rescuing and restoring. I am not sure what all the Lord is calling me to do, but he is stirring within my soul, for such a time as this.
All of this to say, just like Esther, we are all called to something. We must be strong and courageous in the calling that we each have. The Lord has equipped each of us, it is time to embrace this calling He has on our lives and go forth in His strength. I strongly encourage everyone to yield to the call of the Lord in your life.
Many times, I don't think he calls us to the big things but the small things. Many of the things I have been privileged to share in have been small things for me. It didn't involve going out of my way, costing me anything extra or anything like that. It was just about living life daily and being open to the opportunities that the Lord gives us.
Let's go forth, living our daily lives, and see where the Lord takes us.