Take a risk of faith

March 22nd, 2016 Posted by No comments

faithscrabbleIn Mark 5:34 is says: Jesus said to her, “Daughter, you took a risk of faith, and now you’re healed and whole. Live well, live blessed! Be healed…”

This is the story of the woman with the issue of blood and in her pursuit of healing she knew that if she touched Jesus He would heal her.

And so she persevered, did not give up, until she was able to touched Him. And He healed her.

Believing something — a substance of something hoped for, the evidence of something not seen (Hebrews 11:1) means taking a risk. But it is worth
plunging forward towards the goal.

Whatever you’re believing God for today, take a risk and believe it will be.

Go with God.

 

Tags:

Why your church is small …and you’ll be surprised to know that it’s probably not your fault

January 3rd, 2016 Posted by No comments

smallbig

 

Your church is small because….

 

 

  1. It’s small. People who visit a small church usually quickly move on. In a small church they cannot hide in the pew and enjoy basking in God’s presence. It would become quickly apparent that they only go to church for what they can get out of it, not what they’re willing to give. So they move on.
  2. Your budget isn’t big enough. You probably struggle to support your pastor. And after lights, heat, and curriculum bills are paid, the coffers are empty. Therefore, those wonderful video-casts and singing groups and latest speakers are outside of your budget. You’re not trending.
  3. The crazies show up. I was at a pastors’ workshop with former Pastoral Ministry director, H.B. London, for Focus on the Family when he was asked what he felt was the biggest reason between large and small churches. And he said “the crazies show up in small churches.” In other words, churches attract fringe people — people who live outside the margins of normalcy. And they also attract ego-driven people looking for places to extend their influence. He felt the percentage was the same for any size church, however, one crazy among sixty shows up more easily than ten in six hundred.
  4. The music may be substandard. Now not always. We have usually pastored small churches and at times we had worship leaders who were way above the norm, other times we had me to play the piano. Nuff said.
  5. No youth group – or children’s program or single’s group. Of all the complaints, this one is actually the most understandable. Christian parents must decide what their family needs in a church. They may feel that extra programs are an important part of raising committed Christians. While I would hope they would catch the vision that they could be the one spearheading the program they are looking for, I am not a cock-eyed optimist. So you have to accept that a small church without all the bells and whistles will not meet everyone’s needs and you’ll have to bid them adieux.

So much angst is wasted on worry that our church isn’t growing numerically. This year, stop it. Don’t let the accuser nip at your heels, making you second-guess your work. So much useless energy is wasted on church-growth campaigns. Accept that God has you in a small vineyard for this time.

Maybe your town will have a growth-explosion in the future, and maybe the mega-church in the next town won’t feel led to start up a satellite church but allow you to reap the benefits of more people.

Maybe, just maybe, some of those visitors will be like the family I will forever love who attended our service one Sunday morning with their three children. They had just moved to our town from California, and I knew we were sunk, because everyone knows California churches are huge and we weren’t. But lo and behold, they came back and stayed. The family had discussed the church over lunch and their son had suggested, “Maybe we should choose this one, it looks like they could use more people and our help.” So they did and we were mightily blessed by their support and involvement.

God bless your hands as you labor in His vineyard in 2016.

Janice

Tags:

Worship

December 9th, 2015 Posted by No comments

veggienativity

 

 

  “And when they saw the  young child with Mary his mother, they fell down and   worshipped him…” Matthew 2:11

 

 

Once again I am letting one of my very talented children write for me. I’m sure you’ll relate to her post, previously published in the Blossom newsletter, 2015. Here to bless your day is Jana Waddell:

I had an interesting conversation with my sister the other day.  We were on a long road trip and somewhere between Portland and that long, boring stretch that happens before Idaho we ended up on the topic of worship.  Both Jenn and I love to worship.  We love to sing and play instruments and we both serve on our local worship teams.

At one point Jenn asked me how I KNEW for sure that worship is what I am called to do.

It’s interesting how much time and worry we Christians put into figuring out what we are called to do.  We stress about making sure we aren’t wasting our time doing things we aren’t called to do and we fret over wondering if we have missed our calling completely.

What if the whole concept of “being called by God” is much, much simpler?  What if we are just “called” to do what is right in front of us at the moment?  What if we are called to do many different things throughout our lives?  What if God is much less concerned about us  seeing the big picture, like he does, than he is just waiting for us to stop being paralyzed by fear and be a steward of what we have to offer?

Don’t get me wrong; I’m not trying to be flippant.  For example, worship is not something I take lightly.  To enter the presence of God is a sacred thing.  To lead          others into that same presence bears an ever greater          responsibility.  A good worship leader knows that no matter how musically talented you may be, the wrong motives and attitudes will ruin the atmosphere of              worship in a matter of seconds.

But worship is also very simply something I love to do.  For me, that’s a major starting point.  God gave me a love for something and a measure of talent to back it up.  Forgive me for being blunt but I feel like that makes my calling quite obvious!  I can’t imagine NOT worshipping.  And more than that, I’m hungry for more and more places to use what I love to do.  New doors are opening, new opportunities, new people to touch with my music.  Even when I’m not specifically playing worship songs I’m worshipping by doing what I love.

In her latest Book For the Love, a favorite author/blogger of mine, Jen Hatmaker, says: “Do your thing.  Play your note.  We are all watching and learning, moved. You are making the world kinder, more beautiful, wiser, funnier, richer, better. Give your gifts the same attention you would if it paid…how many trot out that tired cliché – ‘I’m waiting for God to open a door’ – and he is all, ‘I love you, but get going, pumpkin, because usually chasing the dream in your heart looks surprisingly like work’…you are good at something for a reason.  God designed you this way, on purpose.  It isn’t fake or a fluke or small.  These are the mind and heart and hands and voice you’ve been given, so use them.”

 At our fall retreat we talked about being Chosen to Tell.  Each of us is specifically chosen, designed, created and spiritually wired to TELL of the “wonderful works of God.”

 You are chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, people who belong to God. You were chosen to tell about the excellent qualities of God, who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. ~1 Peter 2:9 ESV.

I am chosen to tell by way of music.  And I’m absolutely certain of that.  What are you certain of?  If you are searching for your calling?  ASK!  God is the mastermind behind your gift…He is more than willing to let you in on the plan -Then go and TELL!

~ Jana Waddell

Tags: