Why I Bother

The below article was written by me for our church members last year. I have noticed a lack of passion in the women in our churches lately and thought I would share in case I might inspire some of my readers. There has been a noticeable decrease in attendance across all churches of all sizes and this saddens me. Please consider this post the sign or battle cry that you have been looking for.

  Written July 31, 2016

Last week I saw an article that National WMU had shared on their Facebook page. I got so excited, thinking that this is the article that I have been waiting for! It was entitled _Why Bother?_ The tagline asked “So, why bother? Why not spend those precious moments and dollars on ourselves and our families?” I read the article, it was less than a page long, and I was disappointed. The author simply stated that during an interaction with some younger people she remembered being called by God to spread the gospel, and that is why she keeps going to WMU meetings and events. I was surprised that she stopped there when I could have shared so many other things. I shared the article on our Women On Mission Diamond page because it is a little helpful if you have already been answering that call, but it was definitely not the battle cry I was expecting.

roygbiv,rainbows,rainbow in the clouds,bright rainbow,

Double Rainbow

And it does need to be a battle cry. We get asked to do so many things every week, and they are good things. We get asked to birthday parties and Pampered Chef Parties, to meetings at school and conventions at work, we get asked to volunteer at the multiple shelters near our town. To say “Yes” to one is to say “No” to at least one of the others. I have quickly accepted women’s responses when they tell me no, they can’t make it to Women On Mission meetings. Sometimes their reasons are good! So, I have examined myself and the way I direct my church’s Women On Mission. I have thought about moving the meeting day to a day other than Sunday. But the truth is there is always somewhere else we could be, rather than church. And no matter what time I set the meeting, 4:30 pm, 5:00 pm, 7:30 pm, the ladies will always have to find a sitter for their kids, and they will have to make dinner for their family before or after the meeting.

half of a moon
all of an hour
meeting night

I have discussed this with one of my officers at length, several times, and the conclusion we have come to every time is: that it is a sacrifice you have to decide you are willing to make. Families sacrifice having dinner at a normal time when they drive to Springfield to see a ball game. Women sacrifice time with their kids and money that they worked hard for when they go to a Thirty-One party and buy totes (or whichever party is popular this month). It really does come down to: are you willing to sacrifice one more hour a week, one more interruption in your schedule, so that others may know Christ? If you can find someone to watch your kids while you are at a party, or if you can travel for miles to see a ball game that you have no stake in, why can’t you travel back to church after lunch to make sure that the gospel is spread to people in your community? (And please don’t say it’s up to the Preacher, he can’t reach the 30,000 unsaved people all by himself.)

 

The word “Missions” seems to be scaring women. Maybe I need to explain what we do a little better. We do not stand on the street corner trying to get passersby to take Bible tracts. We do not go on Missions trips overseas, or out of state. We don’t literally walk up to people and start preaching the gospel to them and ask them if they have accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as their savior. We use the holidays that our church celebrates to introduce people to the church, and let them see what it’s like to be surrounded by the love of God. 

 

For instance: we collect, stuff, and hide eggs on Easter. The missions part is that we have the kids listen to a story about Jesus before they can hunt the eggs. And if their parents are paying attention, then they get a lesson on Jesus as well. We make all of our events free so that any parents struggling with being able to provide for their child can bring their kid to FBC Diamond and get some snacks and/or gifts for free, while hanging out with other kids, in an environment that is safe and loving. Sometimes we have events specifically for adults, or sometimes we just do small projects where we try to show people love in small ways.

  our church
  our kitchen our buses
  everyone’s God

The statistics say that a person has to hear the gospel over 7 times before they accept Jesus as their Savoir. WOM tries to take the gospel to our community several times a year so that the people in our community can come closer and closer to knowing Christ. There are several unsaved people in your area, and it is your job as a Christian to take the story of Jesus dying on the cross to them. You can find a map that shows the stats for every county in the State of Missouri and it shows there are over 10,000 unsaved people in every county. I am willing to bet that you might even have an unsaved family member.

cross,church,church hidden,christian cross,

Maybe you’ve tried to talk to your unsaved family member about God and coming to church, or maybe you were too afraid. A family member is the hardest person to witness to. Very often we are dismissed by them. But if I witness to your brother, and you witness to mine, we can witness to all of our family over time. And, I will not be personally hurt or offended when someone who I don’t know shrugs me off and doesn’t respond to the gospel. With a family member or friend, it is hard to go back to them after they have rejected your efforts. You fear causing a rift with your loved one. But when we work as a group to show our community the love of Christ, it’s possible to see people learn who Jesus really is.

 

I can’t promise you that you will see a person fall to their knees and yell “I repent.” and then become a model Christian. In 5 years I’ve never seen anything close to that, although I had hoped to at first. Now I realize, this group of women does not host these events, and pray for people, hoping that they will see people dramatically come to Christ. They make meals, they make trips to supply stores, and glue things together, hoping that at least one person this weekend felt loved by God. This is a great reason to partner with someone, and that is why I bother.

Happy Holidays from Failing at Haiku!

failing at haiku banner

green fake tree inside
fake snow, fake lights, but real love
Christmas at our house
  12-3-15

 

I hope you are enjoying the holidays. I do think it is fine to say “Happy Holidays” to people for two reasons:

1. You don’t know what holidays strangers celebrate.

   The person that you’re speaking to, may be Jewish, or agnostic, and may celebrate holidays that are near Christmas, or not celebrate at all. Why offend someone, or push them further away from a great holiday and a great God? Be thoughtful. If you are trying to represent your religion, and you come off looking like a jerk, you’ve made everyone that practices your religion look like a jerk.

2. We’re still in between holidays.

   The Holiday Season is not just about Christmas. There is a holiday every month, but January, from October to February which equals over 5 holidays. In case I might not see someone for the next three months, and I like to wish them “Happy Holidays” as in I hope that all of their holidays, from Halloween to Valentine’s Day, are happy. This does not take away from Christmas. It makes me a nice person.

Day 7 #NaHaWriMo

full glory of the sun

at the top of the cross

Jesus’ zenith

 
 
If you are unsure of the rules/definition/form of haiku then please go to my What is Haiku? page. Feel free to direct any friends there who may be unsure of what is happening in the poetry community this month. Today’s prompt is “zenith” which is the highest point reached by a celestial or other object.
 
Be sure to check out the Facebook page where most of us poets meet to get a prompt and share our work!
 
Please consider sharing your friends and favorite blogger’s work this month. It is getting harder and harder to share on social media as all of the sites like Facebook now hide your posts, in hopes that you will pay to make them appear. So please subscribe to and follow me and any other poets that you like and check the hashtag #NaHaiWriMo on Twitter.
red cannas,blooming cannas,dwarf cannas

NaHaiWriMo Day 3 My Poem

call me a zealot
the flower does not bloom
unless it worships the sun

Today’s prompt was “zeal” or “zealot”.

Feel free to share your poem in my comments section below!

Even if you don’t write haiku, or even if it isn’t your favorite type of poetry, please consider sharing your friends and favorite blogger’s work this month. It is getting harder and harder to share on social media as all of the sites like Facebook now hide your posts, in hopes that you will pay to make them appear. So please subscribe to me and any other poets that you like and check out the hashtag #NaHaiWriMo on Twitter.

red cannas,blooming cannas,dwarf cannas

Devil’s Tower

This is a small stone poem that I wrote for a #HeartSoup prompt.
 

Devil’s Tower
I found myself in
The devil’s tower
I tried to squeeze through a
Window but could not
When I looked around
I found Jesus
Had already opened the door.

 
old barn,rustic,hayloft,hay equipment,barn door,sunlight,crack in the door,

Quote

What is Sunday for?

God’s altar stands from Sunday to Sunday, and the seventh day is no more for religion than any other—it is for rest.—The whole seven are for religion, and one of them for rest, for instruction, for social worship, for gaining strength for the other six. – Henry Ward Beecher

 

I really like this quote and used to share it all of the time. I haven’t shared it on my blog yet, so here ya go!

Quote

A quote about Heaven.

Death’s but a path that must be trod,

If a man would ever pass to God.

            –Thomas Parnell

 

We all have to take the journey soon or later. Why fear it?

Do you have honor?

sun setting, cloudy sunset

 

Honor

Do you have honor?
Would you climb into
a tomb to gather your king’s bones?
Would you be strong enough
to speak against criminals?
To say enough is enough,
to draw the line at what gold can buy.
Would you take the time
to honor those so long dead
that they are nearly dust?
Do you have the compassion
to re-wrap a mummy
that most would rather see burnt?
Do you believe in your religion
enough to sneak about in the dark
and hold secret meetings?
To honor tradition when tradition
is all but lost.
Do you have hope burning
inside you so strong
that you would disturb graves
for the sake of another’s afterlife?
Would you carry your dead priest
on your back so that he
might have a better resting place?
So that his dead ancestors
might not be disgraced.
Do you hold honor
in such high regard
that you would get your hands dirty?
And your feet and face too?
Would you honor those
who were not perfect
for the sake of a religion
that no one believes in anymore?

 
I wrote this in response to finding out why many of the Pharaohs in King’s Valley where all stuck together in one small tomb.

New Year’s Post from Failing at Haiku

brand new year, number 1, start of new year

Image from Graphics Fairy

Living on the Solid Rock

Bible in my hand I’m holding steady
Bible in my lap I’m prayer ready
I stand on solid ground and believe
Our pains he will relieve
Down on my knees hands together
I’m not afraid of stormy weather
Praising and thanking I glorify Him
I pray on every whim
I denounce the devil and deny
His antics will not make me cry
I lift my hands in song
And admit every wrong
I am part of the eternal flock
I live standing on the solid Rock

 

 

As we enter a new year are you evaluating how you did things last year? We always think about what we are going to do in the coming year, but do you stop to consider how you did things last year, and that maybe if you want to succeed you will have to do things differently this year? Maybe this is the year to put your trust in God. Maybe this is the year to step out in faith. Maybe this is the year to evaluate your spiritual life and your priorities in life.