Thursday, June 27, 2013

A Cup of Cold Water and a Hot Meal

Hi, I'm Mary Denman, guest posting for Jamie today! 

Recently, I had major surgery on my right shoulder. Yes, I’m right-handed. My arm will be in a sling for eight weeks as I recuperate. Suddenly, I can no longer do simple things around the house. Things like vacuuming, cleaning, or getting myself ready in the morning. I need help. A lot of help.

My husband has taken care of so much for me over the weekend and I appreciate him greatly. But he has to return to work soon. I must now rely on my children and others for help. So, hubby sat down with our kids and explained that I’ll need their assistance throughout the coming days. They’ll need to get me food, help me down the stairs, stay on top of their chores.

He then mentioned verses in Matthew 10 and 25 about giving a cup of cold water or drink in Jesus’ name. Jesus said that if you do this to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me. Hubby is trying to teach them to look beyond themselves. To serve me during this time that I’m incapacitated. And to serve me because of their love for Jesus.

I’ve also asked for meals to be provided by my church. The lady who runs that ministry said it was a small thing the church could do. Not in my eyes. Having meals provided for my family is a huge blessing.

Sometimes though, we think that doing great things for Jesus is the only way to be a blessing or be blessed. Like donating a car to a ministry, or volunteering 10 hours a week for a year. While both of these can absolutely minister to others, we forget that giving a cup of cold water in Jesus’ name is just as important. Smaller acts of service and love can minister in ways we can't imagine. It would be super cool if someone gave my family a car. But that’s not where our need is. Dropping off a warm, homemade meal? In our current circumstances, the hot meal is a bigger blessing!

It’s easy to get wrapped up in the busyness of our own lives and not see the importance of meeting the needs of those around us.  Those who gave a drink or food to a stranger didn’t even understand at the time that they were serving Jesus.

Realize that you can serve Jesus today. Almost immediately, with the next person you meet. Ask Him to show how to give a cup of cold water or hot meal in his name. 

Monday, June 24, 2013

A Story, We All Have One

Yes, we all have one, a story to tell. If you have lived any length of time you too have a story to tell.
Some of us may have more chapters, more interesting stories to share, some sad, many glad, but a story none of the less.
Jamie ask me to share my testimony and the enemy has tried to keep me from it today.
I have been sick all day and even thought that I would put it off and maybe share it at another time.
If you read the Word, you know it is his job to kill, steal and destroy.
 Since my birth Satan has been on my heels trying to do all three in my life.
Born on my birth Mom-mas 17th birthday, I was a gift she never wanted.
I have no good memories from the time I can remember until  I was 10 years old, except for CHURCH.
It was there that I felt loved, safe and a peace that I could not explain.
I just knew in my mind and heart that something there was different than any other place I had ever been in.
The courts awarded me to my Aunt and Uncle in March of 1970. For the first time in my life I had a bed in a bedroom to call mine, a place to go after school with food to eat and finally clothes that I was not ashamed to wear.
Sunday morning, Sunday night, Wednesday night and every 4th Saturday night why we went to church. The same church where I felt loved, safe and a peace that I could not explain.
I loved that place. I looked forward to each time we would get ready to go.
I sang my very first song there at the age of 5 years old, Rock of Ages. Never realizing that He is my ROCK, no matter if all Hell around me rages, He is my ROCK.
I have loved to sing Gospel Music all my life. Wanted to take part in everything the church had going on.
In the Christmas play, sang in the choir almost as loud as my Nanny and Aunt Doris.
I will never forget when I was asked if I would take piano lessons to learn to play the piano for the church.
I jumped at the chance and took them for 8 months. Started playing the piano in the church at the age of 12.
Still loved going there, feeling loved, so safe and a peace that I could not explain and now playing piano and singing, wow, could life get any better for me ?
In May of 1976, while playing for the altar call, God spoke to my heart, I got up from the piano and knelt at the altar and ask Jesus to forgive me of my sins and to save me from Hell.
Never was a bad person,but lived in an earthly Hell until I was 10 years old, but what held me together was that place called Church.
Now, as I ask Jesus to save me, I felt like I could take on Hell itself. Felt like a brand new person, all that sin and cares of the world off me. But what I did not let go was the bitterness in my mind toward those that had caused me so much hurt, pain and stole my childhood from me.
Asking Jesus to save me, made me feel more loved, still safe and gave me a peace that now I did understand. All the while just being in the building it was the Holy Spirit hovering over me and allowing me feel loved, safe and the peace that only comes from on high.
I knew I was saved but still carried a boat load of bitterness in my mind and heart.
Started out serving the Lord, still playing the piano and singing. Wrote my first song and all I wanted to do was live for Jesus.
Several years passed by, still growing in the Lord. Praying and reading the Word was a part of my daily life.
Still going to church every Sunday morning, night, Wednesday night and 4th Saturday night for singings.
Oh, I loved it.
I knew that I was saved and I loved the Lord with all my heart, but something was missing in my life.
I never would allow other people to get real close to me. See I was determined that people would never hurt me again.
In 1987 God spoke to me during my prayer time and told me that I had to reach out to my birth Momma and try to have a relationship with her. Oh, I did not like that at all. Tried to come up with all kind of deals with the Lord, but He kept saying NO.
See I had to go back to the root of everything in my life before I could ever be where I am today in my relationships with friends, family and my husband.
I started on that journey to have a relationship with the woman that had never wanted me, never provided for me, never protected me, never loved me and gave me up to other family members.
I did everything that I knew possible, but once again, she turned me away, but this time, I had a peace that to this day I can not explain. It was even a greater peace than that I had felt in the church.
See God had to take me back to where the bitterness began and I had to leave it there.
From that moment on, my God became Lord of my life and I can tell you this girl has never been the same.
Even though I had been saved, in church most of my life, but the enemy was still trying to destroy me from the inside out with things that haunted me and I could never seem to over come. He stole relationships that I had with friends which would leave me thinking, "What's wrong with them ?", when all along it was me.
My lifes story has many chapters to this day, some short, some long, some happy, some sad but it is still my story. It did not start the way I would have wanted it to, but I can tell you this, it will end the way that God planned for all of our lives to end one day.
That is accepting Him as your personal Savior and allowing Him to be Lord of your life.
How will your story end ?

John 3:16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have ever lasting life.

Donna Hannah-Boswell
Guest Blogger for my friend Jamie Britt

Thursday, June 6, 2013

The Grief Wasn't Enough

 But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope. (1 Thessalonians 4:13, NKJV)

"I'm sorry, but your mom has passed away." These were the words Mary heard while on vacation with her husband. Her mom had been in the hospital suffering from a disease the doctors thought she'd recover from. A few weeks later, this same precious woman would get the news that another one of her family members had also passed from this life. I was able to see Mary in person a couple of days after the family had gone through the second death in 2 weeks. The thing that struck me about her the moment I saw her was her ability to still trust the Lord. She knew who her sustainer was. She knew where her strength came from. Though she was (and still is) hurting, the grief wasn't enough. It wasn't enough to make her stop trusting God. She's clinging to that hope that she knows won't disappoint...that won't leave her side. Are you suffering from the loss of a loved one today? Let me encourage you, don't grieve as those who have no hope. Mary knows she'll see her loved ones again one day.

Father, I lift up my readers today. I pray for each of them who may be going through loss. Hold them close to Your side. In Jesus name, Amen.