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Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Celebration comes out of perseverance

by Pam Roth
I Corinthians 13:4 - 7: “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.  Love does not delight in evil; but rejoices with the truth. It always protects always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.”

All of us at one time or another have heard this passage of scripture read at a wedding or preached in a sermon series on marriage.  They are beautiful and uplifting verses; but it doesn’t always happen in a marriage or other personal relationships.  In the marriages I’ve observed, there seems to be ups and downs...good days and not so good days...pride to overcome or forgiveness to be given.  It’s kind of like trying to live by the Ten Commandments.

When I think of these verses, I have to stop and think of a marriage that I have watched for sixty-five years - the marriage of my parents.  Has love always been patient, kind, not self seeking or rude?  Well, the answer to that question is a resounding, “no;” but has it persevered - the answer is “yes.”  

In June, my parents will celebrate sixty-five years of “hanging in there together.” It will be a time to share with family and friends.  It will be a day to remember.  A day to celebrate!  

A couple of weeks ago, I shared the thought that celebration comes out of sacrifice and today, out of perseverance.  These are two qualities that most of us will experience throughout our lifetime.  Both - sacrifice and perseverance - do not come without challenges that cause us to grow in our emotional and spiritual lives.  

Be encouraged, keep moving forward and keep growing.  So here’s some questions for you to consider this week:

How are you doing with the verses shared in this article?

How do you keep your pride and anger in check?

What keeps you going?

Who do you count on to help you persevere?

What are you looking forward to celebrating in the near future?

Feel free to comment.

Click for Relevant Ministry Coaching and
The Nehemiah Response Model™

Relevant Ministry Inc.
Training future leaders - Building healthy ministries - Serving on the Gulf Coast

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

All things through Christ

by Nelson Roth
The topic this month that Pam and I are writing about is - celebration.  It's the ninth of the ten responses of Nehemiah.  

After finishing the rebuilding of the Jerusalem wall, they took time to celebrate.  It took a lot of effort and work to get to the finish line, and they didn't stop there - they celebrated!  I can only imagine that thoughts of the upcoming celebration helped the workers keep their eyes on the day that their goal would be reached.

In many ways, this is where we are right now at Relevant Ministry.  RM has a goal of purchasing the camp in Pass Christian, MS.  We've come a long way, and there is a ways to go to reach the goal.  It almost seems impossible, but then "with God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26

So, we press on with our eyes on the goal believing - "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens." Philippians 4:13

Will you join us in prayer through the end of April?  Please join our Facebook 14 Days of Prayer Group. - http://facebook.com/events/348519548539338/

And, will you do financially what you can to help RM purchase the camp by May 1, 2012?  [click to give online, or to get the mailing address] - http://RelevantMinistry.org/Campsite

Together, we can cross the finish line and together we can give God the glory for what He has done.

An important response right now is belief and faith.  Philippians 4:13 says - “I can do;” and with that I am reminded of the Roger Bannister story.  He's the first runner to ever break the four-minute mile.  It was an accomplishment believed to be impossible, but Roger ran the mile in 3:59.4 on May 6, 1954.  Even more exciting is what followed.  Over the next three years, the four-minute mile was broken seventeen times by eleven different runners.  Why? They believed that it could be done.  Along with the four minute mile, Roger Bannister also broke a psychological barrier and made it believable to others.

Well, as we write about celebration in April, let's keep our eyes on the goal and keep moving forward.  Thanks to everyone for your prayers and investment into Relevant Ministry.

Please click now to join our prayer group - http://facebook.com/events/348519548539338/

Relevant Ministry Inc.
Training future leaders - Building healthy ministries - Serving on the Gulf Coast

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Celebration comes out of sacrifice

by Pam Roth
When you hear the word “celebration” what picture comes to your mind?  Whether it be a wedding, birthday, graduation, an anniversary, Christmas  or Easter - all of these events call for a time of celebration; and no event comes without some kind of personal sacrifice.

In many of the events mentioned the investment of time and money are vital; and in all of the events - dedication, perseverance, and a sense of commitment play a major role.  Likewise,  a whole gamut of emotions are usually experienced and expressed during a time of celebration.  So, let me pose a question…“What is more significant, the process leading up to an event or the celebration itself?”  In other words, “What brings us the greatest sense of satisfaction and pure joy?”

Ideally, we would all like to experience a time of “celebration” without sacrifice; however, Larry Crabb in his book Shattered Dreams states, “Happiness must be stripped away, forcibly, before joy can surface, before we will value and pursue dreams whose fulfillment produces true joy.”

And in James 1:2-4, we read, “Consider it pure joy, my brothers (and sisters), whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.  Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”  

As I write these words, I think about how many of the members of our family have over the past few years gone through the process of “stripping away happiness” as mentioned in Shattered Dreams.  Some have made a major move across the country and others across town; and with that move came the sacrifice of leaving behind homes filled with memories, friendships, connections and positions that no longer exist.  For some, there have been times of celebration and for others, they are waiting on “the fulfillment of their dream when they can celebrate with true joy.”  

So, let me ask you a couple of questions:

  • What are you sacrificing today in order to celebrate later?
  • Who or what are you investing in, today?
  • What’s the dream you are pursuing?
  • Who’s your inspiration?

We would love to hear your comments.  

Click for Relevant Ministry Coaching and The Nehemiah Response Model

Relevant Ministry Inc.
Training future leaders - Building healthy ministries - Serving on the Gulf Coast

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

All work and no play

by Nelson Roth
Pam and I have been writing for eight months now about the first eight of the ten responses of Nehemiah.  Celebration, our topic this month, is response nine.  These responses make up a biblical transition process that will move you to a preferred future.  These responses make up the Nehemiah Response Model
, a coaching tool that will help you or your organization get from where you are to where you want to go – and celebration is one response we often neglect.


http://youtu.be/murT6MRAlb8
(click this link if the video does not play in your browser or email)

As you move forward – don’t forget to celebrate your successes!  Here’s three reasons why:

Celebration is a good thing.  God endorses it!  He’s for it!  Romans 14:17, “The kingdom of God is righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy spirit.”  Philippians 4:4, “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!”

  • So, what happens for you when it comes time to celebrate?
  • When one project is finished, do you usually jump right into the next project?
  • How do you feel about being recognized for a job well done?
  • Do you feel guilty about having fun or taking a deserved break?

Celebration is rejuvenating.   It will give you the energy you will need when it’s time to start the next project.  Nehemiah 8:10, “For the joy of the Lord is your strength”.

Celebration is about remembering.  It’s being grateful, acknowledging God’s part in your success, and experiencing the presence of the Lord.  Psalms 16:11, “You have made known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.”

What do you have to celebrate?  What will you do?  And, when will you do it?

Feel free to comment.

Click for Relevant Ministry Coaching and
The Nehemiah Response Model

Relevant Ministry Inc.
Training future leaders - Building healthy ministries - Serving on the Gulf Coast