Monday, September 8, 2008

Yes To God Tuesdays (Chapters 18 and 19)

Well ladies, it's next to the last week. I really am amazed how time has flown! We are on the last few chapters of Lysa TerKeurst's book "What Happens When Women Walk In Faith". Join Lelia and my other bloggy friends as we answer that question.

****All purple text are direct quotes from Lysa****

Chapter 18 A Promise Made Is A Promise Kept

I'd like to start this week again with a quote. "He isn't looking for people to dance in the limelight. He is looking for those souls who are willing to press close to His heart and hear the cries of the forgotten." And I'll add "Ministry that makes the biggest impact is that which is done in the secret places, the hard stuff that is void of glory, but full of guts."

When I first started doing children's ministry I really did not think of myself as making great impact. After all, I was "just" teaching the bible to elementary kids in Kindergarten or first grade. Other than the hugs and smiles of those precious children and an occasional parent, it really was a glory-less ministry. It was something God called me to do. It was something my heart felt was needed.

I did not do it for glory. I still don't do it for my own glory, but for God's glory. And let me tell you it takes guts to keep the attention of 2nd graders, who I now each, on a Sunday morning in a large room they'd rather be running around in! So I agree wholeheartedly with Lysa. There is nothing like seeing the girls I had in small group almost 6 years ago, become God-fearing, God-loving pre-teens. It makes me want to cry every time I see them in church because I know that God was intimately involved in the time we invested all those years ago. I'll take this kind of ministry any day!

Lysa tells the story in this chapter of another young boy God placed on her heart, Sergei. Lysa and her husband decided to adopt Sergei. At the time the book was published, the adoption was still not final. God used this little boy and Lysa's desire to adopt him, along with the her two sons from Liberia to resurrect something in Lysa. What you ask? "..a deeper and more secure trust of Him if you will let Him."

Even when the resurrection is not exactly like we imagined, we must still trust Him. Even if the resurrection of a desired circumstance doesn't happen, we must still trust Him. Perhaps the resurrection is going to look completely different than what we imagined. Whatever and however, our job and mission is to trust the One who is in control.

Chapter 19 God Brings Dreams To Life

Lysa speaks about the promised land here. She relates that she had an amazing revelation. It was not the speaking to 100,000 women or having lots of books at a book table or having people eager to meet her that was fabulous. Even though that's what she wanted, it turned out to not be the sundae with whipped cream and cherry on top. Oh no! Lysa said "The joy of the journey is not simply reaching the promised land. The real joy was experiencing God throughout all the phases of faith." WOW!

So the dream that was being pursued was not really the prize. God was the prize. Ladies, I can't imagine anything better. Just imagine...and I am sure you are experiencing some of this if you've been doing this study....yes, imagine with me.

Reading God's Word daily. Praying over what you have read. Petitioning God for understanding. Praising God for who He is and what He has done. Believing He will do great things in your life and the lives of others. Answering His call to go on a journey with Him. Being excited about the journey. Realizing, with anguish, that the journey travels through a parching, uncomfortable desert. Aching during those desert times. Crying out to God for His presence in that desert.

Feeling that cool breeze as the Living Water washes your soul with His grace and love and goodness. Following the Truth out of the darkness of famine, glancing upward at the peak of a glorious mountaintop. Traveling with your Divine Guide to the top of that mountaintop. Catching your breath as you finally see the view. How beautiful. Looking up at the Lover of your soul and realizing that if you were on that mountaintop without Him, the view wouldn't even really be one. Realizing that the glow of His closeness during that journey is what makes the view so completely glorious and wonderful.

That is the prize ladies. That is the prize.

Join us next week as we bring this wonderful study to a close with the final chapter. Stop by Lelia's blog for more comments and insights. Lelia also has more information on our next study, which I hope you will consider joining. It starts September 23. The book is "Behind Those Eyes" by Lisa Whittle.


Lelia Chealey said...

So so good my friend! Looks like our hearts were struck by some of the same stuff. I love what you said here about the ministry God has you in:
There is nothing like seeing the girls I had in small group almost 6 years ago, become God-fearing, God-loving pre-teens.

That's awesome and THAT'S what living life on purpose is all about!
Thanks for the prayers. Wish we were sitting in the lobby of the hotel again in NC chattin' about our girls! ;) I'll never forget "33" when you shared that with me.
love ya,

Jill said...

Yes, what wonderful chapters and we are living them aren't me? It continues to amaze me to see this all unfold in my life. And yes it is a journey and I'm grateful you reminded me of the prize. What a reward for simply making ourselves available and being obedient. I needed that today!

Amy said...

Shannon and I taught kindergarten Sunday school for a year at our church, and it is definitely not a glory filled position at first glance.

Shannon had a particularly hard time with a certain little boy each Sunday....especially during the Bible story time, which is what Shannon was in charge of each week. Anyway, every Sunday, this little boy caused some sort of disruption during story time....And this one Sunday in particular, he really acted up. (He was a very sweet boy, but he just had such a difficult little childhood...His grandmother had to take over raising him and his siblings). So that Sunday when the grandmother came to pick him up, Shannon was just emotionally worn out from dealing with him, but the little boy ran to greet his grandmother and dragged her over to Shannon and said in his little 5 year old voice, "Mr. Shannon is who teaches me about Jesus."


That was when Shannon first realized that it was definitely a glory filled job, amen?:)

God Bless,

Laura said...

Hi, Mari! I think these two chapters have been my favorite so far. I love reading about how God has worked in Lysa's life on the intimate levels. I know what you mean about working in children's ministry's hard work, but oh, so satisfying. You are making such a difference in those young lives.
See you next week for the last chapter!

Runner Mom said...

Beautiful words, sweet friend! I know how that those little eyes watch you as you work with them. You never know how God is working through you to affect their lives. The song, "Cloud of Witnesses" by Mark Shultz moves me to tears each time I hear it. Those babies see our faith, and they too become witnesses. His plan is so awesome!

Love you!

Pamela (MrsJoeB) said...

"Realizing that the glow of His closeness during that journey is what makes the view so completely glorious and wonderful." I love this and I completely agree!! It is the prize!!
Thank you for sharing your heart-you are such a blessing to me. I miss you friend!

In His Graces~Pamela

HIS Daughter said...

I finally got a chance to visit your blog. You stopped by mine not long ago.
I saw you at Lelia's and I'm going to be doing the Behind Those Eyes study with you all!
I love the insight and wisdom got has given you to bless others with.

Strange that I wrote on Lelia's blog about praying for someone to impact my daughter and son's lives for Christ. I look at your profile and you are in the very city that my daughter and her husband moved from!

They are regretting it. He was in technology as well....I guess..he does something with computers. He was with Fidelity there (sort of outside Raliegh) and they moved to San Diego. They want to come back east.

Maybe they will come back near you and your church.

Can't wait for the study and all the fellowship and sharing what GOD is placing on our hearts!
Love and prayers,