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Thursday, December 19, 2013

Wise men still seek Him


Relevant Ministry Blog Schedule:
Tuesday - "About Spiritual Health in Life and Ministry"

Thursday - "About Relevant Women"

by Pam Roth
Matthew 2:1, 11 “After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea…Magi from the east came…on coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him.  Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense and of myrrh.”

Recently, I was reminded of a Christmas banner I had seen hanging in a church years ago.  The banner was decorated with the three wise men who came to see Jesus in Bethlehem. The words on the banner read, “Wise Men Still Seek Him.” 


There is so much truth in that message – “Wise men still ‘do’ seek him.”  As I consider that statement, my thoughts immediately go to men in my life that I consider “wise men.”
 

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Practicing Contentment

Relevant Ministry Blog Schedule:
Tuesday - "About Spiritual Health in Life and Ministry"

Thursday - "About Relevant Women"

by Pam Roth
Now, I’m not trying to be a Scrooge during this holiday season; however, I would love for you to take just a couple of minutes to look around you.  Take in all that is being provided for you in the area of your work, life, play and worship.  Now, ask yourself this question: What’s missing?


Are you already beginning to make a mental list of things that you want to make you happy? Are you Christmas shopping for others and buying for yourself at the same time?  Or are you thinking about people who need to change or a situation that needs to be different in order to make your surroundings feel more friendly or peaceful?

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Say, “It Ain’t So!”

Relevant Ministry Blog Schedule:
Tuesday - "About Spiritual Health in Life and Ministry"

Thursday - "About Relevant Women"

by Pam Roth
Remember that infamous saying, “Say it ain’t so.”?  Well, that’s exactly what I’m saying, “Say it ain’t so.”  It’s hard to believe that we are twenty days away from Christmas.

Have you noticed it?  Christmas seems to arrive earlier each year as retail stores display Christmas decorations alongside Halloween merchandise; and some stores even have major sales to stimulate seasonal shopping before Thanksgiving arrives. 



This brings a sense of excitement to some.  To others, a sense of panic!  For most of us, our time is limited; and yet, it seems like there are a million things to accomplish.  Add the concerns of a weakened economy to the balancing act of time, and you become a candidate for a “Christmas stress attack.”  Before you get too stressed, consider the following tips to help alleviate the pressure.
 

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

A Thanksgiving Prayer

Relevant Ministry Blog Schedule:
Tuesday - "About Spiritual Health in Life and Ministry"

Thursday - "About Relevant Women"

by Pam Roth
Have you ever noticed how the Lord works in mysterious ways and how relevant His word is for us?  Today, I found a prayer that I wrote almost 30 years ago. Little did I know, when I wrote this prayer, that my children would be in their 30’s and 40’s and that my husband and I would live 900 miles away from some of them when I found this prayer.

Heavenly Father,

As I think about the Thanksgiving season, help me to be thankful…I mean really thankful.  I am truly grateful for your provision and my family.


Father, help me to see that every moment of everyday has been given to me by you; and I pray that I make the best decisions possible within that day.  Help me to see that today’s minutes with my children are tomorrow’s memories.  Memories - good memories I hope - that will be rehearsed not only in our minds, but verbally as we gather together in the years to come…when, who knows, we may be miles apart.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

The Aiming of an Arrow

Relevant Ministry Blog Schedule:
Tuesday - "About Spiritual Health in Life and Ministry"

Thursday - "About Relevant Women"

by Cyndi Coleman
Every day, I write a quote for the day on the whiteboard at the front of my classroom. When I began doing this, I wasn’t sure my students would even notice. On days when I forget, they are quick to remind me! Today, I decided to use a Bible verse from the book of Psalm. As I was flipping through my Bible, what caught my eye was pen markings around the verse from another time when I read it.


Psalm 32:8 “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you and watch over you.” There are penned brackets around the verse, and above the word “instruct,”  I had written in the margin, “the aiming of an arrow.” 

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Lessons learned through nonconformity

Relevant Ministry Blog Schedule:
Tuesday - "About Spiritual Health in Life and Ministry"

Thursday - "About Relevant Women"

by Pam Roth
Do you remember the film, Dead Poet’s Society?  Robin Williams plays a free-spirited English professor, Mr. Keating, at a prep school for boys.  Through unorthodox teaching methods, Mr. Keating encourages his students to look at literature from a new perspective.

Although the professor’s intentions are good, calamity comes out of the students’ newly inspired desire to be nonconformist when it comes to studying poetry.  Unfortunately, the loss of a student brings the class full circle when the authorities of the school decide that something must be done to stop this nonsense.  With a discipline committee on hand, Mr. Keating is asked to resign from his position and the class is brought back under control by a professor that follows “the law to the letter.”

And then, there is that infamous final scene when Mr. Keating comes back to his classroom to gather his personal belongings.  One of the boys apologizes to Mr. Keating for signing a confession that blamed Mr. Keating for all of the boys’ problems.  As Mr. Keating accepts the apology, Mr. Nolan, the interim professor asks Mr. Keating to leave.  Mr. Keating begins to leave when one by one the boys begin to stand upon their desks and cry out, “O Captain, My Captain.”  Through this one act of nonconformity, Mr. Keating realizes that the life lessons he had hoped to impart happened in the lives of these young men and a passion for poetry had been birthed out of Mr. Keating’s unconventional teaching methods.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Take heart!

Relevant Ministry Blog Schedule:
Tuesday - "About Spiritual Health in Life and Ministry"

Thursday - "About Relevant Women"

by Cyndi Coleman
Often it is said that after people go through a significant crisis together it will have either destroyed their relationship, or made them so strong that they are forever united.

Just as this dynamic is true in our human-to-human relationships, the same is true of our relationship with God.  

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Rotten Tomatoes

Relevant Ministry Blog Schedule:
Tuesday - "About Spiritual Health in Life and Ministry"

Thursday - "About Relevant Women"

by Pam Roth
Several weeks ago, a friend of ours gave us some beautiful tomatoes.  She had gone to a farmer’s market and ended up buying more tomatoes than she could use, so she decided to share her good fortune with us. 

The tomatoes were so nice that I decided to try to hold off using them until company arrived.  We had some of our family coming to stay with us for ten days, so I thought this would be a great way to stretch the grocery budget.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Choices

Relevant Ministry Blog Schedule:
Tuesday - "About Spiritual Health in Life and Ministry"

Thursday - "About Relevant Women"

by Cyndi Coleman
“I want to get in the pool now, but I need to wait on my friend. It’s the right thing to do,” wailed my youngest child as she plopped down in the chair. She was choosing to do the right thing, but she was not happy about it.

Have you ever felt this way?

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Recapture a lost dream

Relevant Ministry Blog Schedule:
Tuesday - "About Spiritual Health in Life and Ministry"

Thursday - "About Relevant Women"

by Pam Roth
When you have something on your mind,  do you just keep thinking about it?  That’s how I am when I’m writing an article for the blog, preparing a lesson, or just being creative about an idea.  I’m also that way when I feel stuck, frustrated, or trying to find a solution to a problem. 

The other night, I had the greatest dream.


Thursday, October 10, 2013

The storms of life

Relevant Ministry Blog Schedule:
Tuesday - "About Spiritual Health in Life and Ministry"

Thursday - "About Relevant Women"

by Cyndi Coleman
I was raised in church and have heard the story of Job many, many times. I have learned a lot about myself and God each time. Sometimes I reminisce about a lesson God taught me, while other times I learn something completely new and fresh. Today was a day that one of these verses really stood out as though I had never read it before.

“Then the Lord answered Job out of the storm” Job 38:1.

Isn’t it intriguing that God chose to speak from within a storm? God could have chosen anything or any way. He could have used another burning bush, a cloud, a shining star, a host of angels, anything. Storms are frightening, and earlier in Job 2:18-19, a storm of sorts had taken the lives of all Job’s children.

So, why the storm?


Thursday, October 3, 2013

Cruisin’ Through Life

Relevant Ministry Blog Schedule:
Tuesday - "About Spiritual Health in Life and Ministry"

Thursday - "About Relevant Women"

by Pam Roth
Next week is Cruisin’ the Coast.  Thousands of cars come to the Mississippi Gulf Coast for a week of events centered on classic cars, food and fun.  All along highway 90 you will see cars on display or on the road just cruisin’ with no particular place to go.  The traffic along the beachfront will be even more congested than usual and the locals will have to find alternate routes to travel to work, school or an appointment. 

So, here’s the question on my mind…Are you just cruisin’ through life or do you have a plan?  If you don’t have a plan, how are you going to get to where you want to go?

Over the past few weeks, I’ve had several conversations with people who are seeking the answers to those questions.  Almost every one of them said, “I feel stuck.”  “I want things to change but I just keep doing the same thing over and over and getting nowhere.”  Independently, all of them asked me the same question… “So, what’s the secret?” 

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Planting for the Vision


Relevant Ministry Blog Schedule:
Tuesday - "About Spiritual Health in Life and Ministry"

Thursday - "About Relevant Women"

by Nelson Roth
What an exciting time for Relevant Ministry and for those that have joined us through faithful prayer and financial support.

In March and April of 2012, $67,335 was raised to go toward the purchase of  the RM property!

On June 5, 2013, we signed papers and made the first payment on the property for the new RM Center in Pass Christian, MS.

The Next Step:

Thursday, September 26, 2013

The Lord’s Ocean of Love

Relevant Ministry Blog Schedule:
Tuesday - "About Spiritual Health in Life and Ministry"

Thursday - "About Relevant Women"

by Cyndi Coleman
Today, my daughter, Cameryn, showed me a picture she discovered of baby sea turtles hatching from their eggs. As she pulled the picture away, she remarked, “It’s too bad only a few will actually survive.” We have watched enough nature shows to know about the harsh world these tender turtles encounter beyond the nest. In fact, sadly, only 1% of these turtles survive to reach adulthood. They usually fall prey to crabs or flocks of gulls, all before they can reach the ocean. 



Upon hatching, these babies are headed straight for the ocean. It is innate within them to go straight for the water. There are no parental guides, nothing but instinct driving them. These tiny turtles have two things happening at once - predators threatening to take them out and the safety of the ocean calling them onward.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Works of providence

Relevant Ministry Blog Schedule:
Tuesday - "About Spiritual Health in Life and Ministry"

Thursday - "About Relevant Women"

by Nelson Roth
Big picture, providence, according to the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, is the care that God exercises over all things that He has created, in order that they may accomplish the ends for which they were created.  


Another factor in hearing God's voice is works of providence.

Deuteronomy 29:29, "The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may follow all the words of this law."

How does God reveal his will to us in circumstances? How do we have confidence in hearing his voice so that we know what to say 'yes' and 'no' to?

Proverbs 16:9, "In their hearts humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps."

The illustration from last week about a ship needing two lights to be directed through a dangerous channel at night also applies to works of providence.  If we were to use circumstance alone, as a single light, we could navigate to shore from a number of directions and some routes may result in being wrecked.



We can’t make decisions pulling petals from a flower.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

A harvest is yet to come

Relevant Ministry Blog Schedule:
Tuesday - "About Spiritual Health in Life and Ministry"

Thursday - "About Relevant Women"

by Pam Roth
Fall – what a great time of the year.  Depending on where you live, you may be experiencing a harvest of grains, fruits and vegetables, or for us along the Gulf Coast – a harvest of shrimp and oysters.

Growing up in the Midwest, I vividly remember the farmers out in the fields – late at night, driving their combines through the rows of corn.  There was something magical about seeing the lights of the tractor in a sea of corn on a crisp, moonlit night.  Row by row, methodically the farmer would take down rows of corn as he swiped through his corn field.  When it was extremely dry, the movement of the combines would create a cloud of dust in the fields that would roll across the roads.  Reminding us that no matter how intriguing the process looked from a distance – it all added up to a lot of hard work and patience. 

And for the folks that harvest shrimp and oysters along the Gulf Coast, the same is true.  The equipment for harvesting may be different; but the task is still laborious.  Setting their sights on bringing in a large harvest of shrimp or oysters, many of these men and women will spend days out in the Gulf patiently waiting for the right spot to drop their nets. 

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

The witness of the Spirit

Relevant Ministry Blog Schedule:
Tuesday - "About Spiritual Health in Life and Ministry"

Thursday - "About Relevant Women"

by Nelson Roth
This story is told how skippers of ships find their way safely into certain ports.  A passenger was concerned how the ship he was sailing in could make it safely to shore in the dark of night.  Though visibility was minimal, the captain spoke with confidence.  He pointed out two lights in the distance, saying, “If the skipper keeps them lined up as one light from his position behind the wheel – we will be on perfect course and make it safely through the channel to shore.


As we listen to God, we have multiple lights to line up helping us move forward and on course.  The lights are the Word, the witness of the Spirit and works of providence.  Each is needed, and neither are intended to stand along.  When each one lines up with the other, we can be confident in hearing God.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Life Traffic

Relevant Ministry Blog Schedule:
Tuesday - "About Spiritual Health in Life and Ministry"

Thursday - "About Relevant Women"

by Cyndi Coleman
Know the feeling when you escape getting a traffic ticket? Currently, I am on a five-year streak of “ticketlessness” that I am not eager to break! Here’s what happened a few weeks ago that almost changed everything.  I was trying to turn left across oncoming traffic. I was in the appropriate turn lane and my blinker was on; however, as I prepared to make my move, the green arrow changed - meaning I had to yield to oncoming traffic to turn. I got so focused on the fact there was a break in traffic that when the break came, the light was no longer green; it had changed to red. Of course, I noticed this as I was already turning.

Often in life, we come to intersections where change is either a must or a convenient possibility. We are in our vehicles navigating through life and our God is our divine traffic light. For the most part, we are willing to go by the light system. However, I believe I am not alone in my urge to speed when in a hurry and go when I should stop while distracted. Life gets congested and we get distracted in this rush-hour world. However, when we get negligent on the road, there are consequences to our actions. Sirens wail and we get that sinking feeling that it’s for us. I usually run through a series of really good reasons why I am breaking the law, that just maybe Mr. Officer will buy... you too? He doesn’t know me, maybe he will sympathize with me. But, the truth is, there are laws and I should do my part to drive according to them. Why? Because these laws are good for me and they keep me safe, as well as you and a multitude of other people.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Tuning in and hearing God

Relevant Ministry Blog Schedule:
Tuesday - "About Spiritual Health in Life and Ministry"

Thursday - "About Relevant Women"

by Nelson Roth
God has a plan for you and He is willing and eager to communicate that plan.  One very significant way God communicates is through the Bible.  Romans 10:17, "Faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ."

If we are listening, we will be able to hear God speaking to us through the Word as we read.

Years ago, when the first Christian radio station began broadcasting in a community where I was a pastor; the station promoted their plans to go on the air on a certain day at 8:00 am.  I was excited to hear their launch and remember having my radio turned on and set to the FM numbers - 88.7, so I could hear it all.  Eight o'clock came and past, soon it was 8:10. "Something must be wrong at the station." I thought.  I read the promotional flyer that I had.  Sure enough, I had the day and time right - but, the station frequency was 88.5.  I turned the dial to the right numbers and there they were loud and clear - a favorite worship song was being broadcast over our city.

God taught me through that experience the importance of being tuned in to Him.  He has something to say and he is communicating.  In a similar way, I'm like the radio receiver and my part is to be tuned in!

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Mind the Gap

Relevant Ministry Blog Schedule:
Tuesday - "About Spiritual Health in Life and Ministry"

Thursday - "About Relevant Women"

by Pam Roth
A couple of weeks ago, I was reminded of a something that happened while I was in London with my daughter.  I was a rookie to the Underground rail system; but my daughter had traveled to other cities where she had used subways and train systems to get around, so she was the one in charge of navigating us through the web of the Underground when we were out sightseeing.    

One day, we were out on an adventure…standing in the Underground waiting on a train to come.  It was extremely crowded on the platform that day, so my daughter said, “We are going to need to move quickly, if we are going to get on this train.”  Everyone could see the lights of the train coming down the track, so they began pushing toward the edge of the platform.  The train stopped, the doors opened, and the automated message came on, mind the gap.  The crowd began to pour out as those of use waiting on the platform began to work our way toward the doors of the train.  My daughter had made it onto the train with the rush of people.  I was the next person to get on the train, when all of sudden, this man came out of nowhere – jumped in front of me and caused me to be pushed back into the crowd.  Within that moment of hesitation, everything changed.  When I looked up across the gap between the platform and the train, I saw the doors of the train closing.  There I was, standing on the platform; while my daughter was on the train.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

The capacity to hear God

Relevant Ministry Blog Schedule:
Tuesday - "About Spiritual Health in Life and Ministry"

Thursday - "About Relevant Women"

by Nelson Roth 
The picture of a shepherd and their sheep is given a number of times in the Bible in reference to the relationship that Christians have with God.  One of the unique characteristics of that relationship is that there is communication going on! John 10:3-4, "The sheep listen to his voice ... and they know his voice."

Is hearing God to be a normal experience for a Christian?  John 8:47, "He who belongs to God hears what God says."  It certainly sounds like it doesn't it?


So, what is your experience?  Do you hear him from time-to-time?
 
Beginning today, and over the next several weeks I invite you to join me in learning about and experiencing - hearing God's voice. 

To begin, let's first consider the possibility.  Is it possible to hear God's voice? 

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Daisy

Relevant Ministry Blog Schedule:
Tuesday - "About Spiritual Health in Life and Ministry"

Thursday - "About Relevant Women"

by Cyndi Coleman
Have you ever heard of a horse fly? Better yet, have you ever been bitten by a horse fly? Yikes! It hurts!! I thought maybe they were called horse flies since they can be large in size, but I suspect it is more because they are intensely attracted to horses.

My parents have two horses, Daisy and Lacey. When the weather began getting steamy, the flies came out in droves, so my dad bought some horse fly repellent for the horses. He applied it to Lacey with no problem. However, when he attempted to spray Daisy, it was difficult to get any on her at all because she was afraid of the bottle.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

What rules?

Relevant Ministry Blog Schedule:
Tuesday - "About Spiritual Health in Life and Ministry"

Thursday - "About Relevant Women"

by Nelson Roth
For several weeks we have been considering the topic of God's will.  Previous Relevant Ministry Blog articles have surfaced some principles that I hope you can use:


Here are the titles of the previous articles:
How can we know what God’s will is?
Getting and staying on track 
Wisdom for Decision Making
God's will is not something to be found but rather lived in

Today I'd like to share a list of five questions that have helped me.


Knowing God's ways, His will and making wise decisions. How can we do that?   My list of five questions includes a bottom line indicator that will help you to say yes or no.  You ask, "what rules?"  That ruling indicator is - peace. 
Colossians 3:15 says, "Let the peace of Christ rule." Like an umpire in a baseball game calls the balls and strikes. Let 'peace' be your umpire and make the call for you. 

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Are you like me?

Relevant Ministry Blog Schedule:
Tuesday - "About Spiritual Health in Life and Ministry"

Thursday - "About Relevant Women

by Pam Roth
Are you like me – relieved when a task is finished?  Saturday, I was distributing my parents’ weekly prescriptions into their pillboxes.  Small as the task may seem, it’s always so good to have the counter cleared of all the pills, the prescriptions all in their right compartments in the pillboxes, and packed up to deliver to my parents some time later that day.

As I finished the task, I heard myself say out loud, “Wow, that feels good to have that accomplished.  And then, I wiped the counter with my hands as though to say, “That task is complete. What’s next?”

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

God's will is not something to be found but rather lived in

Relevant Ministry Blog Schedule:
Tuesday - "About Spiritual Health in Life and Ministry"

Thursday - "About Relevant Women"

by Nelson Roth
Has there ever been a time for you when the desire to know or to “find God’s will” seemed like an impossible task or brought a lot of questions that led to more questions that never resulted in answers?

God’s will, being in the right place at the right time, or however you might describe it, is where all of us as followers of Christ desire to be.  To help in this task, I want to challenge you to make a shift in your thinking about God’s will - for at least the length of this blog article to see what insight God may give to you. 

The shift in thinking is in the title of this blog article: God's will is not something to be found, but rather lived in!

If you are a believer, who is loving God and not living in known sin - you ARE in God’s will right now.  How does that sound to you?

Here is the first of two ways to view God’s will:

One way is viewing God’s will as something to be found.  This view says, “I am at point B looking for God’s will which is at point A.”  Essentially, with this view, I am saying that I am not in the will of God if I am at point B.  Or, saying that there is something wrong with point B.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

The Knock at the Door and the Voice Beyond


Relevant Ministry Blog Schedule:
Tuesday - "About Spiritual Health in Life and Ministry"

Thursday - "About Relevant Women"

by Cyndi Coleman
It was a hectic time trying to get packed up to return home after our last vacation.  There were twelve of us scurrying around trying to make sure we got everything packed into the appropriate suitcases and there were multiple trips being made to the cars. At one point, I pulled my younger daughter, Catheryn, from the pack of cousins running and playing.  I gave her instructions to stand still at the door to wait for her daddy’s return from the car, so she could let him back through the locked door at the hotel. Once she agreed to stay at the door, I warned her to listen for his voice after the knock, so she would know it was safe to open the door.

How was she to know it was her father’s voice and therefore safe to open the door? She has learned his voice through seven years of listening. Her daddy could also call her by name to verify because he knows her and she belongs to him. However, neither of those things would have mattered if she had not done two important things. She had to pull away from her cousins for a while and remain still and listen.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Wisdom for Decision Making

Relevant Ministry Blog Schedule:
Tuesday - "About Spiritual Health in Life and Ministry"

Thursday - "About Relevant Women"

by Nelson Roth
I’d like to tell a story that I read about a man who ran into a snowstorm while driving through the mountains of Colorado as an illustration of decision making.  In the snowstorm, the man got disoriented and completely lost, then he saw a snowplow and decided to follow it.  He kept as close as he could while it plowed away the snow. At times, the blowing snow almost cut off his view; but the guide ahead of him kept on leading the way. After some time, the plow stopped, and its driver got out and walked over to the car saying, “Where are you going?”   The man in the car said, “I’m on my way to Denver.”  The snowplow driver replied,  “Well, you’ll never get there following me! I’m plowing a parking lot!”

In order to get to our destination, we must make sure we’re on the right road. And, we need to be sure we’re following the One who is the wisdom giver for direction in our life.


So, how do we find wisdom for decision making?

Thursday, August 8, 2013

God's creation seen through a spider web

Relevant Ministry Blog Schedule:
Tuesday - "About Spiritual Health in Life and Ministry"

Thursday - "About Relevant Women"

by Pam Roth
Last week, we looked at the power of the web of destruction in our lives.  In the article, Cyndi also commented on how we can be used of God to help others when they are struggling with something in their lives.  This week, we will look at the power of God’s creation through a spider web and how God’s creation might speak to each one of us differently.


A couple of years ago, I had an unbelievable experience.  I woke up early just as the sun was rising.  There was fog rolling across our lake, and the dew was heavy on the grass and flowers.  As I looked out our kitchen window, I noticed the most spectacular sight: Hanging in midair was the largest spider web I have ever seen. 

Instantly, the thought went through my mind that I needed to capture this spider web on my camera before the sun burned the dew off the strands of silk.  Quickly, I ran through the house to gather up my camera.  Stepping outside the front door and onto the lawn, I immediately sensed the denseness of the air, and every blade of grass was weighted down with dew.  As I rounded the corner of our house, I saw the spider web sparkling in the sun like a piece of fine crystal.  Every strand of silk was covered in moisture drops, and it was one the most amazing sights I have ever seen. 

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Getting and staying on track

Relevant Ministry Blog Schedule:
Tuesday - "About Spiritual Health in Life and Ministry"

Thursday - "About Relevant Women"

by Nelson Roth
Recently, I was out fishing with my son-in-law, Jeff, and his three boys.  We were pumped about bringing home supper - fire grilled speckled trout and flounder was sounding good.

Jeff navigated the boat to the right spot and put down the anchor.  We ended up with a pretty good day -  meaning we caught fish and had some nice fillets that night! 

A number of things go into a successful fishing trip...patience, the right bait, the right conditions, and all the right gear.  Something else that could be overlooked is the anchor that holds the boat in that right spot!  Without the anchor that day, we would have drifted.  


How might this apply to our current topic of decision making and knowing the will of God?

Thursday, August 1, 2013

The web of destruction

Relevant Ministry Blog Schedule:
Tuesday - "About Spiritual Health in Life and Ministry"

Thursday - "About Relevant Women"

by Cyndi Coleman
Yesterday afternoon, I found myself pondering a question posed in my current Bible study. Often God, himself rescues us from the clutches of sin that render us helpless and often, hopeless. However, sometimes he desires to script someone else into the scene who is willing to come along and help. The burning question; why? Why would God, the Almighty, ever do this? Why use fallible man?

Many people have sought to help me over the years, and it is easy to see that their help was a divine appointment from God. Also, humbling, but true, there have been times the Lord has allowed, even me, to help someone through a hard time. So, there is no doubting that he works this way, but the question remains, why? 

So, in my heart, I posed the question, “Lord, why do you do this?” As I sat and waited, my eyes fell to a minor rumble developing on my porch; a mosquito-hawk had drifted into a spider’s web. At first it was a minor entanglement, nothing life threatening; just life’s average mishap, a slip-up, just like sin.


Tuesday, July 30, 2013

How can we know what God’s will is?

Relevant Ministry Blog Schedule:
Tuesday - "About Spiritual Health in Life and Ministry"

Thursday - "About Relevant Women

by Nelson Roth
Making decisions for our future is probably one of the most challenging things about life.  The need for decision making comes with maturing and transitioning; from being dependent to being more independent.  

If you are feeling challenged about questions, you need answers to or something you have to figure out - you can see this as something good.  It probably means you are transitioning into places of greater responsibility in your life.  If that’s so, it’s awesome!

What are some steps to think about in making important decisions?

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Cluttered porch

Relevant Ministry Blog Schedule:
Tuesday - "About Spiritual Health in Life and Ministry"

Thursday - "About Relevant Women"

by Cyndi Coleman
Before we owned our current house, there was a dilapidated remnant of a screen porch. After we purchased the house, my husband rehabilitated the porch, so it was once again a pleasant and useful space. I have come to really love this area. It has become my own special place, my sanctuary, where I meet with the Lord and spend time in peaceful prayer and Bible study while listening to birds singing and breeze gently blowing. 

Just a little over a year of living in the house, a hurricane was coming our way. Before we evacuated to go north, we packed all of the yard items, such as toys and bikes into the porch, in hopes that they would not become flying objects in the storm. Thankfully, the storm wasn’t bad and we returned home to minimal damage; however, since we are procrastinators, the porch remained packed and cluttered for a few months.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

I am servant

Relevant Ministry Blog Schedule:
Tuesday - "About Spiritual Health in Life and Ministry"

Thursday - "About Relevant Women

by Angie Hegstrom
Friday's Devotional from ONE 2013

So, I’m curious, have you ever heard the song that goes like this? ”If you want to be great, in God’s kingdom, learn to be a servant of all..”  Wow!  That definitely goes against today’s culture with “i” in front of everything around us, doesn’t it?  In this generation, I don’t think I’ve ever heard of an iservant.  But how inline with God’s word that would be?

Take a minute right now and read Philippians 2:1-11 (Imitating Christ’s Humility).

In this passage, it talks about how Jesus, who was fully human and fully God; while on earth became a servant to all.  Think about that!  He could have walked around with entitlement to who He was but He didn’t.  He rolled up His sleeves and got dirty.  He washed His disciples' dirty feet, He grabbed a glob of mud and made a blind man see.  Are you getting what I’m saying?  He WAS a servant.  So tell me, are you?  

How often do you stop and serve, not because you were asked; but, because you saw a need and felt God call you to respond to it.  Jesus tells us we are to be like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind (Philippians 2:2).  He goes on to tell us that we should do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit.  Rather, in humility value others above yourself (Philippians 2:3).  That’s a pretty good picture of a servant.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Closed doors in our life

Relevant Ministry Blog Schedule:
Tuesday - "About Spiritual Health in Life and Ministry"

Thursday - "About Relevant Women"

by Pam Roth
Have you ever noticed how the anticipation of out of town company coming to your house sends you into a state of panic to get areas of your house in order that haven’t been touched in months?  I’m not talking about dusting and sweeping the house.  I mean “deep cleaning” the closets, garage and attic. 

Eight years ago, we moved from a tri-level house with a basement to a one story house without a basement.  Now, we have all of this “stuff” from our basement stored in our garage and the little bit of attic space we have.  That means that we can not park our cars in the garage and it also means that we are constantly rearranging the garage to keep it in some kind of order.

Not only do we have things in our garage but since we moved from a larger home to a smaller home, we have pictures we are not using stored under beds and other accessories are in storage bins…you guessed it…in the garage.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

What is real?

Relevant Ministry Blog Schedule:
Tuesday - "About Spiritual Health in Life and Ministry"

Thursday - "About Relevant Women"

by Teresa Houchin
Thursday's Devotional from ONE 2013

We live in a world where many things seem real, but often aren’t.  It may be the character you are playing in a video game, the perception of beauty in a magazine, or the words “I Love You” spoken by someone in your life.

If you had to describe what determines something to be real, how would you describe it?


The things we literally see around us are evidence of something being real. It may be your bed, the car you ride in, the basketball you use, or the orange you eat. If something can be seen or touched, we have a pretty good idea of it being real. Do you ever watch the tv shows that are specific to determining whether an item is authentic and real? The experts can determine authenticity by the markings they see and the expertise they know about the item.  What are sometimes hard to determine as real is the relationships we have with others. Each of us at some time or another have experienced disappointment with the way someone hurt us or what we thought was real about someone, really wasn’t. It might be a friend or a family member that has hurt you. You may feel that you can’t trust someone again, but there is someone who is real and will never change. More real than a great meal deal at DQ! More real than the winning score! More real than the air you breathe!

The one who created you and knows you best is real and so is His love. In fact, God’s love is so real, that he gave his only family member to be tortured for you. Check this out - Romans 8:31-39

Now that is real!

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Freedom flight

Relevant Ministry Blog Schedule:
Tuesday - "About Spiritual Health in Life and Ministry"

Thursday - "About Relevant Women"

by Cyndi Coleman
Sitting on my back porch is one of the things I dearly love. Screened in and having ceiling fans does a good job of keeping two Deep South frequenters to a minimum - mosquitoes and heat.


On occasion, the screen door is left open, and a bird will find its way in.  This open door is strangely alluring to birds; but, for some reason they are unable to find their way out. Just yesterday, one poor bird found herself in this situation.

With help from my daughter and her friend, I tried to help this little bird escape. Together, we were armed with towels to “shoo” her out to safety; however, the bird just kept swooping and darting every way, but toward the only exit. At one point, my sweet daughter’s pity wanted to let the little creature rest a minute; but, I knew the new vigor the bird would gain would not be good, so we continued to wave the towels at the bird. 

Over the time we were shooing, “birdie” developed a triangular pattern where she flew from corner to corner, but always avoiding the door. During her fright-flight, we noticed she was panting and heaving...fear and exhaustion were draining her. Finally, as she surrendered, cowering and trembling on the floor, my daughter quickly picked her up with towels wrapped around her hands and rushed to the door to release her. Finally, freedom!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Release your fear

Relevant Ministry Blog Schedule:
Tuesday - "About Spiritual Health in Life and Ministry"

Thursday - "About Relevant Women

by Angie Hegstrom
Wednesday's Devotional from ONE 2013
 
About 14 years ago, while on a mission trip to Colorado, we decided to go white water rafting on our “off” day.  We loaded up the vans and headed to the Colorado River with our team.  

It was a beautiful June day; but, because of the large amount of snow they received during the winter, the water was both colder and higher than usual.  The rafting company gave us all wet suits to wear and a quick lesson in white water rafting.  We then divided up in three rafts and pushed off the edge.  

I felt a little nervous when we started; but, I quickly settled in once we were floating down the river.  It was surprisingly peaceful and serene.  Eventually, our paddling wrapped up around the bend where we would stop and eat a picnic lunch.  We finished eating and talking about our lack of rafting adventures thus far and loaded the rafts again for our final leg of our trip.  

Our three boats were one in front of the other and the need to begin picking up our pace of paddling was increasing.  We turned the corner and our guide yelled for us to paddle and stay away from the swirling water to the right.  Well, believe it or not we began paddling hard, then harder, trying to brace ourselves to keep from going to the right.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Freedom

Relevant Ministry Blog Schedule:
Tuesday - "About Spiritual Health in Life and Ministry"

Thursday - "About Relevant Women"

by Pam Roth
Today, we will celebrate the Fourth of July.  There will be fireworks across America, as well as, gatherings with family and friends.  We will decorate in red, white and blue, enjoy each other’s company, eat more than we want, laugh, and say, “ah, ooh, and wow” to fireworks as they are displayed in the sky; but, how many of us will stop to think about or talk about the freedom that we have?

Maybe, this is the day, to send a message of thanks to someone who is serving or has served our country.  This may be more difficult, but what about a phone call or note to a family who has lost a son or daughter while serving our country?  Let them know that you are thinking about them and thank them for their sacrifice for our freedom.  On a lighter side, you could take a meal or dessert to a family who is waiting for their loved one to come home; and, more importantly, we can all pray for continued freedom.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

A Heart of Compassion

Relevant Ministry Blog Schedule:
Tuesday - "About Spiritual Health in Life and Ministry"

Thursday - "About Relevant Women"


by Jeff Hegstrom
Tuesday's Devotional from ONE 2013
 
When you woke up this morning and started getting ready for the day, you had to look in your suitcase and make a decision… “What am I going to wear today?” (unless your mom actually labeled your clothes for you : )  Every day when you wake up, you also have a spiritual choice to make of what you are going to put on.

Colossians 3:12 – “Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy  and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion,  kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. “

Is this day going to be about ME or will it be about OTHERS?  Is my life going to be centered around my wants and my needs or will I look outward to see where God is, what He is doing and join Him in ministry.

What does it mean to “clothe yourself with compassion?”

To the greatest of your ability, draw a picture below of that which best represents your understanding of COMPASSION.

Matthew 20:30-34 – As Jesus and his disciples were leaving Jericho, a large crowd followed him. Two blind men were sitting by the roadside, and when they heard that Jesus was going by, they shouted, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on us!” The crowd rebuked them and told them to be quiet, but they shouted all the louder, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on us!”  Jesus stopped and called them. “What do you want me to do for you?” he asked. “Lord,” they answered, “we want our sight.” Jesus had compassion on them and touched their eyes. Immediately they received their sight and followed him.

What did you discover through Jesus' example of compassion? 

How did the crowd respond to the two blind men?

How did Jesus respond?

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Introducing Relevant Women

by Pam Roth
Relevant Women will begin blogging every Thursday on the Relevant Ministry Blog. The blog articles on Thursday will be written specifically for women.  Several women from the Relevant Women team will write these blog articles on topics of interestWe invite you to take part by commenting and joining in on the conversation at the bottom of the article.  Help us get the word out by sharing the articles with other women in your life and encourage them to subscribe to the Relevant Ministry Blog.

It’s been almost a year ago that the Lord began to speak to me about developing a safe place for women to be able to tell their story.  During that time, I felt impressed that I was to invite five women to join me.  Over the course of a few weeks, I was able to connect with all five women and three of the five believed that God was calling them to be a part of what is now called – Relevant Women.

Over the course of one year, we have studied the Word together, encouraged each other and have grown in a deeper relationship with God and each other.  Now, we are waiting for all that God has in store for us.  We believe that the Lord will allow us to reach out to other women through spiritual development, mentoring, and retreats. 

Just recently, four more women have begun the journey of becoming "relevant women." Through a process of growing in relationship with God and each other these four women along with the original three will reach out to women in their churches, through ministries, and through their daily lives. 

We invite you to join us on our journey as we begin a weekly blog on Thursdays just for women.  We also appreciate your prayers for us as we look forward to all that the Lord has intended for us.

Click to post your comment.

For more about Relevant Women - RelevantMinistry.org/RelevantWomen


The purpose of Relevant Women:
Relevant Women exists to train women to minister relevantly, to discover and grow in God’s call in their lives and to serve in their churches as godly leaders.
 

RW accomplishes this by:
•Teaching life changing truth
•Building significant relationships
•Practicing spiritual disciplines
•Defining our personal stories
•Developing our personal ministry



At Relevant Ministry, our vision is to equip leaders to minister relevantly in churches that will be healthy and thriving.

Our mission, to fulfill this vision, is training future leaders - building healthy ministries - and serving on the Gulf Coast.