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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?