Monday, October 31, 2011

Grace & Guidance



DAY 31 of 31 Days of Serving Other Series


Joshua 22:5 "Only be very careful to observe the commandment and the law that Moses the servant of the Lord commanded you, to love the Lord your God, and to walk in all his ways and to keep his commandments and to cling to him and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul.”

So today is THE LAST POST of this series. If you are still with me reading the series, God Bless You! Thank you for your encouragement and friendship. I would've have never done this if it weren't for the creative mind of the Nester and The Holy Spirit pricking at my heart. So I am grateful to them both for the spiritual growth that I journeyed this month.

For those of you who didn't join me, well I don't blame ya. I am sure if you were like me in the beginning thinking everyone does service but no one advertises it or blogs about it. You are right! I could leave it at that and make you feel good about maybe some judgements you may have made about me. Maybe you were thinking, she is narcissistic or just plain crazy. Crazy part for sure! Narcissistic, nah not so much. Wrong girl! Maybe you even thought she wants recognition. I wouldn't blame you one bit for thinking any of those thoughts. BUT I will stand up for myself and I say this "you would be wrong!"

So why? Why this for 31 Days? Well, when you get inside the Lord's head, you let me know. Instead of why this how about why not this and why not me? I do know what I have learned for 31 days. I have learned....(or reminded, I need that a lot).

Service does not have to be BIG to be meaningful
Service is never convenient(it is not about you so why would it be?)
When you step out of the seat of judging who is "worthy" then Jesus will always WIN
You don't have to be equipped(in my head perfect). Just be ready to go. HE will give you what you need when you need it . The key is let HIM do the guiding.
When I step out on FAITH The Lord will always deliver the one whom needs the service.
He will always provide the right service before you when you ask HIM to keep your eyes open.
My prayers have changed from provide the opportunity to HELP ME SEE THE OPPORTUNITY and give me the courage to follow through.
If you dream about it more then likely you need to do it.
Service is sometimes messy and scary. That is okay and I am learning to be okay with it because it is about the Message not the messenger.
My attitude good or bad can change the course of the service. I choose a good one.
My heart will catch up to my head. This changes the whole "well, my heart is not in it attitude." Again a choice.
Not every service opportunity is for me to take. I need to wait on what God is leading me to do and rely on the Holy Spirit to get me there.
Don't be afraid to go for your DREAMS. Your dreams can lead to service and that can lead to Glorifying the Lord! (I did! Book Club)
I shed the clothes of worrying about what other people think and pressed on to what does The Lord think. Now, this is different than the attitude of "I don't care what people think so I am going to say what I want when I want and act how I want."
I also shed the clothes of DOUBT and well, "she is already good at it so why should I do it?"(Not sure which one word that would be to describe that)
Growing spiritually will always involve risk taking!


and that it can be hard so I gave myself permission to fail. This gave me freedom to try!


The last service that HIT me in the head was being asked to step up in women's ministry at the bible church where we attend. Never in my wildest dreams would have I guessed this one or saw it coming. It was a big commitment. It was asking me to get up extra early to get there for the discipleship class for us leaders to attend. They have a small group meeting before the big group meets. In our leader meeting we share our burdens, successes, questions and anything else we need. They asked us along with the regular bible study to do a separate discipleship private bible study for ourselves. This was to prepare our minds for our small groups. Plus. it was asking me to lead a bunch of girls that I do not know(big gulp). Oh man, I am sweating now just thinking of it. Yes, I have already led them but still my heart skips several beats just mentioning it. At the same time it was calling me to a place of "here I am send me." Calling me to a humble place. To rely upon HIM! That is always good! So I am leading this year in a new place, new girls and a new study. It is frightening yet exciting. You see the Good Girl in me wants to "do good." Be perfect! Ha! Not mess up(ya right)! I am working through my Good Girl syndrome. Ha ha! It is hard to be authentic but oh so worth it! So I am. Resting in HIS grace & guidance.

I really pray & hope you have learned right along with me. If you didn't then please share your wisdom with me. I am still learning in this area of my life. I need all the help I can get. I hope maybe you have looked at service in a different light. That it is not always an event but can be an encounter.



Thank you for your LOVE!



Sunday, October 30, 2011

Attendance & Visitors


2 Chronicles 15:7 "But you, take courage! Do not let your hands be weak, for your work shall be rewarded.”


This is Day 30 in 31 Days of Serving Others Series


So, a few weeks ago I agreed to help one of the ladies in our Sunday Class with attendance. So far I have done it twice. It sounds simple enough but when you have to learn 60 or so people it can be quite the task. However, this is one way I can help another person yet I get to learn every one's name. It may take me awhile. I will get there.

Remember all those wonderful goodies I made yesterday(go here)? Well, part of the reason I made them was for our Sunday Class. Oh man, all the goodies were a BIG HIT! Nothing makes me happier than people enjoying something I created with my hands.


Another great blessing that happened today was we(hubby & I) had visitors with us for church. Let me explain. They are already believers but attend different denomination. Never in a million years would I have thought they would come into the doors where we attend. Nothing is wrong with either church. When you have been worshipping one way for so many years you stay towards that preference of worshipping. It was very enjoyable to see our loved ones come along our side to see what we do and why we do what we do. Whether they come back again is not the point. It is the fact that they came with open arms and sincerely worshipped with us.


Today services came with many smiles across many face! Praise God for such a wonderful day!!!

So how was your Sunday? Did you serve? What did you do? Please share! I would love to hear from you!!!!





Saturday, October 29, 2011

CAKE


This is Day 28 & 29 in 31 Days of Serving Others Series





7-UP Cake By Shellie(me)
Just ignore the crispy crumbs around the cake!


I LOVE that commercial from long ago about the Skor candy bar with the Queen eating them all. The servant comes to ask her "Your Majesty what will the towns people eat?" She looks at her half eaten Skor bar, "let them eat cake!"

Anyone remember that commercial? No? Then it is just me! Ha! So where have I been the past 2 days? COOKING!!!! Yes, I have been cooking and baking up a storm. My family swooped into town and I have been in full cook order service mode! Here is what I have made so far.

Vegetable Cabbage Soup
Creamy Potato Leek Soup

Chocolate Covered Strawberries

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cake Squares
7-Up Cake

All of it homemade! I think of one the biggest services you can do is cook for someone a hot meal or yummy dessert. Plus, I have been cleaning up after everyone during their rest times. This is my first time to sit down and write anything!!!!! I will be honest with you. I L-O-V-E to cook for others and serve them. There is something so rewarding when someone has taken your creation to their lips and everything in their facial expression exhibits "yummy."

I did feel bad for my mother in law. She was so insistent on helping but she has really bad knees. You could tell she wanted to sift the flour, grease the pan or cut a vegetable. You see, once upon a time she too could do everything in the kitchen and her body never once failed her. She talks of the "old" days gone by when she would make the best home made candy for her husbands office coworkers. Sooooo, that is what I did! I included her in process as much as I could. She sat mostly at the table and I would bring her stuff to chop, grease or mix. She truly enjoyed it. Once I was done with the main cooking, I was inspired to honor her by cooking her home made 7-Up cake that she loves. She even gave me a couple of tips to keep in my back pocket for a later date. She was so pleased that I felt so honored to make her recipe and to know that it was just like she remembered. What a way to honor someone! Plus, I love taking family recipes and carrying on the traditions for future generations!

I quote my son tonight "mom, this is so good. you are a good cook!" Oh, my heart just singed with JOY!

One of my all time favorite movies Julie & Julia is all about cooking. If you really get down to it, it is about do your passion! One of my favorite scenes is when Julie is describing Bouef Bourguigon recipe by Julia Child that her mom made. Such passion!







So is there anyone you know that needs a hot meal or delicious dessert? or maybe they are a cook whose body has failed them and they would enjoy rubbing elbows along your side in your kitchen. Sometimes we have to think outside the typical "cooking-a-meal-for-someone-box." Sometimes we need to include them in the process. The process is part of the serving. It is giving of your time and that is the best gift ever.


Romans 12:9-13
Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Discipline





This is Day 27 of 31 Days of Serving Others Series



It takes a village to raise a child!


So this one may be hard to explain but I am going to give it my best! The other day my son's preschool let out early so we decided to spend some time at the playground. A few of the parents seem to have the same idea. One of the kids was pleading and begging for their dad to pick them up and ring the bell. One of mom's chimed in "oh go ahead I am always in trouble with the principal of the school." The dad laughed and then had this look of maybe I shouldn't do it but oh it is so tempting. My son and another parent's daughter were playing together when the daughter overheard the whole conversation of "ringing the bell." I am not saying ringing the bell is wrong but in this case it is obviously one of the rules at school. Yes, for this particular case it is wrong. I think one of the many reasons is, the bell appears to be one of those old school bells from long ago. Also, I am sure just to prevent the whole craze of "ringing the bell." Sounds like a good rule to me. Anyway, back to the daughter still wanting to ring the bell. Her mom was trying really hard to think of something clever and help her understand that just because so-so's parent lets them do it doesn't mean you get to. The mom had twins under 2 at her hip so it was a challenge. I felt pretty comfortable with this mom so I quickly looked at her daughter, " I think it is one of the rules at school to not ring the bell so for right now it would not the best decision for your mommy to help you ring the bell. Why don't you go back to the play area and rise one of the trucks?" Her mom graciously thanked me. Of course from the other side of the peanut gallery were looks of "kill joy." Really? Adults encouraging other people's kids to go ahead and do something that they KNOW is wrong! Even the parents of the child knew this and still were making jokes about it. I understand it is just a bell. However, it is the principle of the matter here. What are we communicating to 3 and 4 year old's when we blatantly tell them it is okay to cross the line this time? Or even joking about following the rules? Or that it is okay to disrespect authority? Children are not mature enough to know what lines they can and can't cross. This line was an obvious "no-no" but that doesn't mean everyone "gets it." So yes even discipline can be of service. In this case it was let's stick together as a village to help these children learn from right and wrong. Just goes to show you that being a child has nothing to do with age or a number.

So are you helping the village? I know you may be thinking well it is none of my business how people raise their kids. You would be right to a certain degree. When it influences your child in a way you do not approve you have a choice in the situation. I typically choose the "let's leave" or "I'm the parent over you not them." Both of those can work in different scenarios. However, sometimes you have to step in gently and lovingly help. Notice I said gently and lovingly! It isn't a harsh take over or my way is better than your way. You just never know when you might need a little reinforcement.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Sometimes

This is Day 26 in 31 Days of Serving Others Series



You just have to admit when you fail and so I did. I volunteered to send out prayer requests for our bible study group and I didn't. I finally did! However, very late!

So what do you do when the service you signed up for goes to the way side or fails? I know some of you are thinking this isn't a failure. Maybe not, maybe so. Some people really count on those prayer requests to be sent out and prayers to be lifted up on their behalf. I do take this seriously!


I think the first thing is to apologize or admit it.
Then forgive yourself.
Evaluate.


I say evaluate because some services are more time consuming and require way more involvment. You have to consider maybe this is not the time for me or things have changed in my life so much that I need to pass the torch. I think sometimes we feel that since we signed up for the service we are forever tied to it. Not true. I would like to say that I am in no way or shape encouraging someone to back out at the last minute on something that they have committed to. That is not okay. Though I have seen situations where a loved one died and someone had to step up. That is a unique case. I am mentioning the situation where someone has volunteered to decorate an event or plan one and decides 2 weeks before the event to back out "just because." We have to always consider the other people involved in the service. Everyone has given up their time and made efforts to see something through so should you. Was I just a little tough in saying that? Ouch! Let truth ring! ha!



Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Information

This is Day 25 of 31 Days of Serving Others Series






Matthew 7:12 "So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets."


It may seem strange to count or even say that,"information" could be a form of service. It is!
How many times have you moved to a new town or church or your kids have started a new school? Wouldn't it be great if we all had the information channel with everyone's ratings of what their experience was like at our finger tips? I still consider myself the new kid on the block so when I see someone who needs a little information I reach out. I am very sensitive to this matter since I am still finding my way in many areas of my life here in Austin. Plus what good is it to keep valuable information to yourself? Anyway, I shared information today with someone I met while eating lunch. I am not going to tell you the specifics. It is not important. I will be honest with you that I almost just sat there not saying a single word. Then I got that nudge. Ya know, the Holy Spirit can be a little pesty sometimes. Did I just say that? Oops, I did! Do you ever find it is always at the times when you need it all quiet and peaceful that HE calls you to step out? I do! So, the lady was very grateful and felt like she had a piece of gold in her pocket. I believe information can be like that for some people. Especially, when one is searching for something more.

What information do you need to share but are afraid to? Sometimes it is not easy but HE never said it would be. Did HE?

Monday, October 24, 2011

Loaves & Fishes



John 6:9"Here is a boy with five small barley loaves and two small fish, but how far will they go among so many?"

This is Day 24 in 31 Days of Serving Others Series


Well, I am a little bummed. My service that I was going to do got cancelled! So this brings up a good point. We just need to make ourselves available for the service! Remember the story of Jesus feeding the 5,000? Go to John 6: 1-14. Actually, it is in all 4 of the gospels! Yep, there was a boy who had 5 loaves of bread and 2 fishes. I am sure his momma packed his meals to last all day. Little did she know she would be packing for the Savior. That is beside the point here for today. Anyway, the little boy did not have enough to feed the crowd but Jesus did. For me the lesson learned here is beyond what Jesus can bless but that the little boy made himself available for the service. He let Jesus handle the rest. Sometimes the serving part of service is in the availability and the yes in our actions. God knows our intentions regardless if the service got cancelled or not.


So are you making yourself available? Filling in for a teacher that is sick on Sunday, preparing communion, leading a bible study, making refreshments for the next teenager event, meeting someone new, helping a neighbor in need or whatever. If you will, share your expereince. We can all learn from it!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Milk

Proverbs 22:9 "Whoever has a bountiful eye will be blessed, for he shares his bread with the poor."


This is Day 23 in 31 Days of Serving Others Series


I was at the store doing my usual shopping for the week. For some reason there were maybe 4 lanes open on a very busy night. I had maybe 25 items. Too many for self checkout and for express! I pulled my cart up to what seem to be a line of people with about the same amount of items. I thought this will surely go fast. In front of me was a family of 5. A mom, a teenager, two small babies(8 months) and an 8 year old precious little girl. The mom asked the teenager to take the babies to the car while she finished up. The mom had cheese, meat, veggies, fruit and milk in her cart. Nothing extragvant. Just basic simple food to feed a family. The checker begins the process of scanning the items. The amount added u pretty quick. These days that's not to hard to do. It is a shame that healthy food can be so expensive. Of course me being behind them I can all what is unfolding before me. The mom pulls out her food stamp card or Lone Star card. I know this because when hubby was without a job we had assistants for about a month. We did not "qualify" due to having a home, car and retirement. Once we spent the retirement then we "qualified" for a short period. Anyway, I know first hand what it is like to stand there praying you have enough or that you added everything up properly. So, appartenly the checker notes that she does not have enough to get the milk. The 8 year old starts to cry because she is really wanting some milk. She pleaded that they needed for their cereal. All that is going through my head is school is tomorrow and does this child have all that she needs for the day? Heart-breaking! If you had been there and seen the tears in the eyes of this girls face, you would've wanted to help. It was happening so fast before I could get a word out that I would pay for 2 gallons of milk they were gone. I grabbed the sacker "go get the girl!" I am sure they thought I had lost my mind. I didn't care! " I will pay for the milk. Put it on my bill!" The sacker runs, grabs the girl, she turns back to walk with the sacker and a look of puzzlement was on her face. The checker explained what I had done for them and that she could take the milk. Her big brown eyes looked up at me filled with tears "ma'am thank you! thank you!" That is all she could get out before she began to cry some more and then an elated spirit came over her. She and the sacker walked out to her mom's car with the milk in their hands. It is like what I mentioned before in another post(here)how it is not our place to decide who and who does not receive help. We need to let the Holy Spirit do his work through us without our eyes being tinted by prejudgement ideas. Like my friend Erin over at Who's at the Helm stated "if someone projects a need I want to do everything to meet it in Jesus' name. Will that ever be a wrong decision?" She is so wise!

I will leave you with just that thought....doing everything in Jesus name will never be wrong!









Friday, October 21, 2011

Win, Then Give



This is Day 22 of 31 Days of Serving



Phil 3:12-14 (Jer) Not that I have become perfect yet; I have not yet won, but I am still running, trying to capture the prize for which Christ Jesus captured me. I can assure you my brothers, I am far from thinking that I have already won. All I can say is that I forget the past and I strain ahead for what is still to come; I am racing for the finish, for the prize to which God calls us upward to receive in Christ Jesus.




We had the opportunity to attend a charity event with our small group(life group) from church. At this event they had silent auctions where you could bid on an item at a low fee but win something supper special. I won! It is not important what I won. I actually ended up giving it away. A friend was sharing something with me and how she is trying really hard to work on the issue in her life. After she shared, the Holy Spirit guided me to give her my prize. She could enjoy it more than me! Let me tell you this was a REALLY good prize! It was hard for me to humble myself and give it away. My selfish side was really grabbing for excuses why I shouldn't. However, in the end the Jesus side won. I am really glad for that. She was genuinely elated and grateful!!! Sometimes you win, then give when it comes to serving others but in the end everyone is a winner! I know it's a little cheesy though so true!

Have you ever won something only to find it was never intended for you in the first place? Share your story.






Picture Phone


This is Day 21 of 31 Days of Serving Others


Galatians 5:13-14

For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”


We(my son, grannybug & myself) were at Chik Fil A having our weekly get together. This man whom appeared to be homeless walked in the doors and sat down right across from us. My son looks at him "hello, my name is _______. What's your name?" The older man introduces himself and they begin a conversation. After a few chit chats back and forth my son went into the play area while we finished our lunch. The man glanced at my phone for a minute.

He smiled "is that a Iphone that takes pictures you can send?"
"Yes, sir it is."
He reaches for another one of his fries " m'am can I ask a huge favor?"
" sure, what is it?" ( I am sure I looked like a deer caught in the head lights)
"Can you take a picture of me and send it to my son? I lost my phone over a year ago and my son has not seen me in years. I would love it if he could see me."
"Okay. No problem."

He brushed his dirty, sweaty hair back and straighten his shirt as best as he could before I captured the picture. I snapped it. Showed him the picture and then sent it to a person I have never met before. I did give an explanation with the picture so his son was not caught off guard completely. The gentleman grabbed what few belongings he had and turned to me " thank you so much that just made my whole day!" He walked away with a big grin and a little pep in his step. That is all it took. A quick picture from a phone to send out to his son.

They say a picture is worth a thousands words so what would a phone with a picture on it that you send to someone be worth? I bet I know what it was worth to this gentleman.

What do you think?








Thursday, October 20, 2011

Chocolate & Book Club Winner!

This is Day 20 on 31 Days of Serving Others

Psalm 119:103 "How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth!"




Last night our book club met for the second time to discuss chapters 1-3! It was so great! I really wanted to surprise them with something special so I had the bakery make 6 chocolate crossiants. Oh yum! We cut them in half so it was half the calories. WOO HOO! It just doesn't get any better than that!

So you want to know who won the contest do you? ;0) (insert cheesy grin)
Can I get a drum roll please??????


and the winner is AMY!!!! from amyswandering

Okay, girl Congrats and I will be contacting you soon!!!!!

So to sum up (cough-cough) todays challenge of service..pass a little chocolate around! It always makes someone's day. It is in the small things!!!!


Go here to catch up on 31 Days of Serving others



Wednesday, October 19, 2011

An Olive Branch

This is day 19 in 31 Days of Serving Others







Yesterday was an amazing day with friends from all walks of life. New ones and old ones! I have a new friend whom I meet once a week to workout with at a local gym. Our kids get along, we get along and even when the hubs are together they get along. Of course it is so much more than just getting along. We truly enjoy each other. We are invested in each others' life. For me this sweet lady and her family has made life easier to transition here to Austin. What a blessing! Anyway, we met up yesterday to workout and then lunch. Is there anything more rewarding than a healthy lunch after a workout? We decided to eat at one of her favorite restaurant's, The Olive Garden. Which just happens to be at the top of my list as well. AHHHH...unlimited salad, soup and breadsticks. I did stay away from the breadsticks. She and her family have had a tough time financially for the past few years. She does not complain or has a negative attitude about it. She holds her head high with God by her side. She is an amazing woman! Beautiful inside and out! So, The Holy Spirit tapped my shoulder, whispered in my ear to pay for her lunch. Trust me 7 bucks is nothing but for folks who struggle 7 bucks is a lot. 7 bucks will buy you milk and bread for the week. 7 bucks can buy your family toliet paper, shampoo or laundry soap. Next time you are in the store look to see how far 7 bucks with take you and your family. I could not have done this 2 years ago or even 1 year ago or 6 months ago. This time I could extend an Olive Branch to give her peace for the day and HOPE for the future.

Now in Greek history an Olive Branch is referenced to war and peace. You can feel free to look that up on your own. However, in the bible during Noah's time with God the Olive Branch meant the flood is over. This is found in the Old Testament for those wanting to do more search on it. You can start in Genesis Chapter 5-6 and read on from there.

For my sweet friend I pray that the flood is over for you and you will see more Olive leaves or branches in your future!

Genesis 8:11 "and the Dove came toward him in the evening, and behold, in her beak was a freshly picked olive leaf. So Noah knew that the water was abated from the earth."


Today, whom do you need to extend an olive leaf/branch to that is going through a flood period time in their life?

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Toddler & Bug

This is Day 18 of 31 Days Serving Others



My son in bed with me singing songs and rubbing my head. Love his little sweet face!

Sometimes service comes to you in the form of a little person. Yesterday, I was flat on my face sick! I woke up with a headache that led to sweating and hanging out in the bathroom area. Immediately, I called my mom and she came over in a flash. She was here in 25 minutes. I am so blessed to have her so close! Anyway, she folded my laundry, washed what was left of laundry, unloaded my dishes, washed a couple of my pots and somehow in all of this took care of me. My son was right beside her doing everything she was doing. He even made me soup and brought me crackers. I kept telling my mom whom we call Granny-Bug, she did not have to do the extra stuff. I was more concerned about someone watching my child than a squeaky clean house. Finally, she looked at me "sweetie sometimes you just have to let people help you beyond what you had intended." OUCH!

She is so right! This brought on my thought of how many times have we limited people? How many times have we refused help? When really we should be allowing that person to do what the Holy Spirit had set out for them to do. When we say,"no" because of pride or whatever we are NOT allowing the Spirit to work in them as well. Service has 2 sides. One who offers and one who receives. We have to learn the receiving end just as much as we do the giving end. So that is where I was yesterday learning to receive beyond what I thought I intended. Think about it next time when someone wants to help you. Maybe it took all the courage they had to offer to help you in your situation. We need to learn to be more gracious in this area and more willing to accept it with open arms.

On the plus side my son did learn something from my not so good state of health. He did jump right in with his servant attitude and joyful spirit. He would want to rub my head and sing songs. That my friend was worth the inconvenience so my son could learn a valuable lesson.

Today, my challenge for you and myself is to work on the receiving end of service!


He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your resources and increase the harvest of your righteousness. You will be enriched in every way for great generosity.

2 Corinthians 9.6-11

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BTW, I am well! It was just a strange bug ;0) but what a great lesson it brought to me.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Hands to Heaven

Prayer.....



James 5:15-17 "And a prayer offered up in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise them up. If they have sinned, they will be forgiven. Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective."

This is Day 17 in 31 Days of Serving Others


It is interesting but I never thought of praying for someone a service. Do you? Usually, my conversations with people after hearing their long painful story ends with "well, I will be praying for you." I honestly mean it! Sometimes I forgot but for the most part I do remember at one point through out the week. I am beginning to change my thinking on when to pray. I have started to say, "let's pray now!" First, it allows a deeper bonding between you and that person to transform. Second, you have done what you have set out to do and now they know it! Lastly, it leaves an impression on you both and gives accountability a chance to bloom. Now when you see them you will ask and want to know how things have improved. I know it is not always easy. Babies at our sides, phones ringing, people grabbing us for things to get done, and just all around busy life. All of it worthy of our attention! However, what if in the middle of the craziness we did choose to stop and pray? It gives us all focus. Puts our minds and feet in the right direction so why not do it together?

So, that is what she needed and we did! I hope she knows how much I truly care about her as my sister in Christ! Praying for things to get better. This is for you friend....






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Mr Bell

This is Day 16 in 31 Days of Serving Others

Don't forget about the Giveaway!



I bet Mr Bell and Steve Jobs would've been good friends! Maybe they are having a conversation now!


Do you ever get that nudge or feeling you need to call somebody? Then you think I am going to call them after I do the laundry or when little one is down for nap or while I am traveling in the car to run errands. You have good intentions but that is all it amounts to,
intentions. Before you know it time flies by and again their name or face appears in your head. That phone call you were supposed to make never happened. Then days maybe months go by and you run into them at the store or some public place. You get to talking and catching up. You find out LIFE has not been so good for them. Maybe somebody past away or a spouse got sick or they lost their job or whatever. You part ways pondering on the conversation that just took place. Do you ever think to yourself "darn it" I should have called them? Sometimes do you ask God "was I supposed to have a role in that? Lord, was it me who could've blessed somebody by a simple phone call?" If you are like me my answer comes back...yes!

Again nothing earth shattering or profound about today's post but I believe the Lord did use me in the situation. It doesn't always have to be big to matter! You just have to be willing to do what HE has laid out for you. That is exactly what I did. He put her name before me and directed me to call her right then and there. She really needed the encouragement. I will not go into details since it is a sensitive subject but the phone call was much needed. Here is the interesting part. If I had chosen to do my typical "well I will do that later scenario" I would've missed her. I think many of us know that when the Holy Spirit calls or leads us to do something we need to do it right then not later. Though I know this doing it is another thing! I believe we must take a step back and realize in the moment when he is prompting us at that time, it is because that is when the other person is most available to receive the blessing. When we choose to step out of the service being about us and when it is best for us, we allow the Holy Spirit to work the other end of the service. HE is then able to complete the blessing.


Is there a service that you need to do in order for the Holy Spirit to complete the blessing? It is not too late! Go do it! Oh by the way, no way is this a guilt lesson. Just remember if you did not follow through from a past nudge God still took care of it. Sometimes I have to remember "why not me" instead of "oh somebody else will take of it."



James 4:13-17 13 Some of you say, "Today or tomorrow we will go to some city. We will stay there a year, do business, and make money."14 But you do not know what will happen tomorrow! Your life is like a mist. You can see it for a short time, but then it goes away.15 So you should say, "If the Lord wants, we will live and do this or that."16 But now you are proud and you brag. All of this bragging is wrong.17 Anyone who knows the right thing to do, but does not do it, is sinning.




Saturday, October 15, 2011

A Bundle(Day 2 with Pics!)











Of JOY still going strong... This is Day 15 of Serving Others 31 Days Go here to catch up....




Some services are a minute others are an hour or two and others require a little more time. Remember this is God Given Holy Spirit Led Service for 31 Days. This means I don't dictate how long or where or what the service. I let HIM lead me! We are pretty much half way through this challenge and it has been very teachable for me. When you open yourself up in this way the opportunities do come knocking. Your eyes must be open. Funny thing is once I prayed over it and asked the Lord to lead me, the service was there. This thought spurred many others as to why we don't know about certain services or opportunities. I believe after much internal search, we are busy! I know shocker. It is nothing earth shattering but it is real. Real enough for Satan to keep us busy therefore keeping our eyes unfocused as to where the Lord is leading us. It is like that old saying "you may no be "sinning" but Satan can keep you busy." Ouch! Below is a made up story as to what one author shares would be the conversation between Satan and his workers. It is just one persons perspective and for me an "eye opening" one. Read on my bloggy friends!


Satan's Tactics to Destroy Believers

Satan called a worldwide convention. In his opening address to his evil angels, he said,

"We can't keep the Christians from going to church. We can't keep then from reading their Bibles and knowing the Truth. We can't even keep them from conservative values. But we can do something else. We can keep them from forming an intimate, abiding experience in Christ. If they gain that connection with Jesus, our power over them is broken."
"So let them go to church, let them have their conservative lifestyles, but steal their time, so they can't gain that experience in Jesus Christ."
"This is what I want you to do, angels. Distract them from gaining hold of their Savior and maintaining that vital connection throughout their day!"
"How shall we do this?", shouted his angels.
"Keep them busy in the non-essentials of life and invent un-numbered schemes to occupy their minds", he answered. "Tempt them to spend, spend, spend, then, borrow, borrow, borrow. Convince the wives to go to work and the husbands to work 6 or 7 days a week, 10-12 hrs. a day, so they can afford their lifestyles. Keep them from spending time with their children. As their family fragments, soon, their homes will offer no escape from the pressures of work."
"Over stimulate their minds so that they cannot hear that still small voice. Entice them to play the radio or cassette player whenever they drive, to keep the TV, the VCR, and their CD's going constantly in their homes. And see to it that every store and restaurant in the world plays music constantly. This will jam their minds and break that union with Christ. Fill their coffee tables with magazines and newspapers. Pound their minds with the news 24 hrs. a day. Invade their driving moments with billboards. Flood their mailboxes with junk mail, sweepstakes, mail order catalogues, and every kind of newsletter and promotional offering, free products, services, and false hopes."
"Even in their recreation, let them be excessive. Have them return from their recreation exhausted, disquieted and unprepared for the coming week. Don't let them go out in nature. Send them to amusement parks, sporting events, concerts and movies instead. And when they meet for spiritual fellowship, involve them in gossip and small talk so that they leave with troubled consciences and unsettled emotion."
"Let them be involved in soul-winning. But crowd their lives with so many good causes they have no time to seek power from Christ. Soon they will be working in their own strength, sacrificing their health and family unity for the good of the cause."

It was quite a convention in the end.

And the evil angels went eagerly to their assignments causing Christians everywhere to get busy, busy, busy and rush here and there.

Has the devil been successful at his scheme? You be the judge.

Author Unknown


"Let no one seek his own good, but the good of his neighbor." I Corinthians 10:24






Friday, October 14, 2011

A Bundle

Of PURE JOY!!!!


This is Day 14 of 31 Days of Serving Others (just click to catch up)

I wish my photo would down load but I am having issues. Maybe I can update later. Anyway, this service is so right up my alley! My son's Sunday school teacher called me for some help. Her son had been admitted into the E.R. for high fever and low white blood count. They have a precious 1 year old daughter. The husband is a cop and works the night shift. He has been up for 36 hours. No family close by and the one person they have called on before fell. She can't help them. What to you do? Call me!!!! I love babies!!! I loaded my car, drove to get sweet baby girl and took the dad down town to the Hospital. They have only one car so he needed a ride. I was so happy they called me. I told them not to worry and to let their precious baby stay the night. This way they can do what they need to without worrying about little bit! She may even stay the night tonight sooooooooo I have been in baby heaven land!

It is funny what seems so simple to us is a big deal to another. I can honestly say God gifted me in the area of loving other people's children. I love them all. No matter what age!

Today think about the service that comes easy to you and is simple. Do you need to reach out to someone in that area?


Matthew 19:24 Jesus said, "Don't stop the little children coming to be for they are part of the Kingdom of Heaven."




Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Knees Up(give away) Update!

Update: Ms. Amy You are the WINNER!!!!!!!

This is Day 13 in 31 Days of Serving Others

Go here to Catch Up



Fab(fabulous)
wanked (tired)
nowt(nothing)
chuffed(happy)
chin wag(chat)
ney(no)
diddle(rip off)
dodgy(no to be trusted)
fancy(you desire it)
full of beans(load of energy)
give us a bell(call)
knees up(party)
naff(uncool)
on about(what are you talking about?)
pip pip(good bye)

what in the world do all these crazy words have to do with today's post?


Well, read on.....Oh it is a fun one and TRUST ME you will want to read on!!!!

I mentioned in my post Ink & Pages I started a book club. Getting the books was an interesting event. First, I ordered from a sub company from Amazon called Book Depository. I had no idea that the company's warehouse was/is in the U.K. The website was not very clear and shipping time frame was supposed to be free 2 day shipping. After purchase then I received an email saying it would take up to 2 weeks to ship the books out! What??? I was NOT a happy camper. My book club was starting and I needed books FAST! Amazon had them on back order and that is why they sent me to Book Depository. So much for the book deposit! Last Tuesday I called all the Family Christian Book stores to ask them to hold so many copies back for me. I had 25% coupons so the books ended up being about the same price wise. I did only have to go to 2 stores to get them and they were not far apart so fuel wise that helped.

Now what do I do with those extra books??? I contacted the shipping department at Book Depsoitory to get a refund or to obtain a proper return label so I could be refunded. Insert British accent, "We have nowt in our store so we can't ship your books! I'm sorry we haven't recieved your quid yet so a refund is impossible! Plus, we don't offer them." huh????, what did she just say??? Insert thick Texan accent "thank you and never mind m'am!" Insert British accent...what a diddle(rip off) and very naff!(uncool)!!

Needless to say I now have the books BUT they are extra! SOOOOO I am giving one away!!!! Yippie! Sometimes it is better to just give it away than try to fight for my right to get my refund. I wouldn't win! They made that very clear so service can happen when you choose to utilize it for something other than what you had intended it for! Think outside the box or maybe book in this case. I'm so funny. Okay not really....I need sleep!!!!

Knees Up or in this case a Book Party!!!! wooohooo!!!!!




I am giving away Grace for the Good Girl by Emily P Freeman.



Leave a comment below and you are entered for the drawing.





*contest closes midnight Monday Oct 17, 2011*








well I am wanked(tired) so pip pip(bye).......and good luck contestants!






Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Mozzarella Sticks

This is Day 12 of 31 Days of Serving Others



Matthew 25:42-43 "For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me."

Once a week my son gets to have granny-bug time. He either gets to go to lunch with her or go to her house and play games. He is typically there for a couple of hours while I get stuff done. Such a blessing to have my mom so close! He loves my mom! They have a special bond.

Anyway, on our way home from granny-bugs a homeless man had a sign he was holding up on the side of the road. It simply read "hungry. please anything helps!" I quickly looked down at my half eaten mozzarella stick and thought I can't eat this in front of him! I dug in my lunch box to see if I had anything left over from lunch. There were 2 mozzarella sticks. The light starts to turn green! Oh great I am trying to do good here but God ya gotta give me a little help. I was nervous passing those sticks off for fear of honking car horns and that perhaps he would not see me to get them. I grabbed the sticks, rolled my window downed and shouted "this is all I have!" He was so grateful. He smiled at me "God bless you!"

I had a friend ask me once "how do you know they are really sincere?" I believe you have to really listen to the Holy Spirit. He will prompt you! Yes, I have passed by without giving every time because I truly believed it is not my help that they needed. Honestly, we really don't know if they are sincere at the end of the day. I just have to do what the Lord is guiding me to do and let him worry about the rest.



*a tip, keep peanut butter crackers or fruit cups that don't require to be refrigerated in a half gallon baggie to pass out when you do want to help someone whom is hungry*

Monday, October 10, 2011

Scissors to Scissors


This is Day 11 in 31 Days of Serving Others



Matthew 10:30 Indeed even the hairs on your head have all been counted!

I have been needing a haircut for some time now. Time hasn't been on my side or finding the right hair dresser. Plus, I am having a hard time swallowing the fact that a basic hair cut here cost anywhere between 50 to 80 dollars! EEKKK!!! Wouldn't it be nice when you moved to a new place someone gave you the book of KNOW? The book would tell you everything from which doctors to choose from to dentist to yes even hairdressers! Anyway, I made an appointment at one of the beauty schools here in Austin. One advantage I have over other people is I am a licensed Cosmetologist. Yes, it is true! I do not practice but long time ago I did. Practicing paid my way through college! Another advantage being in Austin is, it is the city where everyone comes to take the state boards. Therefore beauty schools here are at a much higher standard. The fact that it cost way under 25 for shampoo, conditioned, haircut, blow dry and style is so worth it! The instructor checks over everything that the students do so in a way sometimes better than a salon. I have found most licensed Cosmetologist can get lazy and well it seems you have to wait for a very long time to get your hair cut. Okay, enough rambling!

Her name Misty. She was so nervous. From observing her I would guess she was in week 4 of hair rotation. The students are typically in rotations. Color, cut, nail and style. I am sure there are more than that but you get the idea. Misty was very insecure and overly cautious. I totally understand. The head instructor comes over to walk her through the hair cut. This is to insure everyone is on the same page. It also gives the instructor opportunity to help without making the client feel as if she made a mistake choosing to come to a beauty school for service or another way to keep an eye on the student without making them feel more insecure than they already do! Ha! I never once told them I was licensed. I certainly did not want to make her feel worst or have her doubt her abilities. The head instructor was impressed that I knew my hair so well when she began to ask me certain questions(insert big grin). She left. Misty was still super nervous and then began to doubt her next steps. I looked up at her, "It's just hair. You honestly can't mess it up. Take a deep breathe and it will come to you." She smiled a big smile and I saw her face gain the confidence she needed to finish what she started. Plus, it is hard to do a 180 cut then a 90 cut on top and then combined them in the meet. All along using razor cutting to shape around the face. Did that sound foreign to you? Ha! Once I basically gave her permission to make a mistake she felt very comfortable. My particular haircut was the first time for her to implement. She did a great job! Not too much off! Actually, she could take more off next time. Yes, I will let her do it again! Words of encouragement could be the service here but letting a student use scissors on my head that was the real service.

The instructor thanked me for giving Misty a little breathing room and Misty asked me to come back so she could continue to practice.

Invitation


This is Day 10 in 31 Days of Serving Others




As you know if you have been reading my posts we had a night of Bowling for Nineveh. While I was bowling our waitress would come by to chit chat a bit with me. She had no idea why we were really there. I told her about Nineveh Ministries and the church affiliated with it. We talked about church in general and what her "background" or "experience" has been with the church. We talked about things we loved and stuff we didn't. At this moment in her life she is not attending anywhere or committed to a place. So I invited her to come with us sometime. Maybe she will come maybe not. I did what the Holy Spirit was calling me to do for the moment. That is what matters. Listening to where he leads me. I pray for her. Pray that she will KNOW JESUS not just a building. Hopefully our conversation sparked an interest. Plus her witnessing a group coming together to bowl for a ministry is powerful. That evening alone could impact her. Isn't God so good in the way he works? I think I may need to go bowling again(wink wink).

A simple invitation is service. The next time you are having a conversation with someone whom is looking remember to invite them because you never know what kind if impact they may need in their life. You could be the person to connect them to KNOW LIFE WITH JESUS by giving a simple invite.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

An ear full of Strength


Day 9 in a series 31 Days of Serving Others







She had strength like I had never seen before. I am not even sure how to begin today's post or even how to form the words. This service was not in its normal manner like buying a cup of coffee or feeding someone whom is hungry. This service was not tangible through my hands but by another way. This came in the form of listening, really listening to someones LIFE story. Have you ever walked away from listening to someones life story thinking you have absolutely no troubles what so ever? This particular service made we walk away thinking not only am I not as strong as I thought I was but I have no troubles. Especially when I ponder on what she has gone through, what she will go through and what she is going through.


listen to her story...

She has been married for more than 23 years. They waited to have kids. After 13 years they decided to have children. God blessed them with a beautiful baby boy. Fast forward to kindergarten. Teachers notice he is having trouble playing sports and seems to tire out quickly at recess. The teachers encourage the parents to see a doctor. They did. The diagnosis M.D. also known as Muscular Dystrophy. There are many different forms but he was diagnosed with Becker. Their son is now 11. It is their only child and the doctors predict he won't make it past high school. Her marriage is suffering. She has no idea if they as a couple will make it. She takes in every single moment and is grateful for the tough stuff. She even looks forward to where God will lead her spiritually.

I don't know about you but it took us 7 years to have a child. We have been married for over 11 years. We struggled to have our one so I can NOT imagine having someone tell me my son will die someday. Not only will your son suffer but the end results will be fatal.

I thought I knew strength and then I met her. I thought I understood patience and then I saw her face. I thought I knew trouble and then I heard her life story. Today I saw Jesus. He came in the form of a mother loving her son.

I don't know if what I did had any impact or even an inkling of one. I did listen. I did lend an ear. I do not walk her shoes. I do not pretend to walk in them. What we do have in common is we are both moms of sons. I am going to hug my son a little tighter tonight, kiss my husband a little longer and pray for one more day.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Bowling Nineveh

Day 8 of a series 31 Days of Serving Others






Again this one may seem selfish but all FUN & FUNDS went to a great cause. Plus, who says you can't have fun while serving?

The serving involved was more about writing a check to bowl for the evening. Nineveh Ministries is an outreach to kids in Juvenile detention. They introduce the gospel, create relationships, initiate bible studies and incorporate the church to create life-long community. They raise funds through people buying a ticket to bowl and they have a silent auction. Hubby and I could have just written a check and never bowled for the night. What fun is it that? The goal of the night was to raise awareness for the ministry and FUNDS to support those involved. It was way more FUN to participate. Plus, we had the opportunity to meet a few of the teens whom have been forever changed by this wonderful ministry. It gave hubby and I a little time together so it served us as well! It made us laugh at ourselves trying to accomplish bowling straight down the middle of the lane. We learned that we both have a little spin in each of our technique(if ya wanna call it that) to bowl. Hubby after just a few bowls was scoring some high points. I might add his finger on his right hand was injured so he really was bowling the ball without inserting his fingers in the hole. You never realize how important those holes in the ball are for bowling until you can't use them. He got a couple of strikes during his game! ME? I bowled okay the first game and it took awhile to get a rhythm going in my game. Once I did I bowled much better the second game. We also learned bowling is kinda of fun for a date night. The food was good, atmosphere was great and the music was from the 80's & 90's. We really enjoyed getting to know other couples and learning about a wonderful ministry called Nineveh.

So have you been bowling lately for a good cause? If so, share here what your experience was like. I thought it was a clever way to get people involved and raise awareness! Especially when on a Sunday at this bowling ally they only charge $5 to bowl all night. Obviously, the Nineveh Ministry charged more than that so they could raise their funds for the ministry. Also, they had a drawing for a new IPAD! Nope we didn't win. Hubby was really bummed. Guys and their toys!





Psalm 25:5 “Guide me in your Truth and Teach me, for you are God my Savior and my hope is in you all day long. ”









Go here for other 31 Dayers(over 700)

Miles


This is Day 7 of a series Serving Others 31 Days.....


Stranded. Hopeless. Frustrated. Broken Down. Alone.




These are typically the emotions you feel when your car us in repair land or broken down. What do you do when you are passing through a city alone? Whom do you call? You are not married. You are a career woman whom is independent. Luckily I know her and she is my friend. Of course I helped her. She actually called to meet up for lunch but in the end needed so much more than just a ride. She needed a friend to comfort her and support her. So I did! God really worked out the details. My mom was watching my son so I could be free to be with my friend and even help her. After a wonderful lunch of catching up we decided to do a little window shopping to pass the time while her car was being worked on. It was so much fun! Unfortunately, the car shop called to let her know they would not be done till the next day. She needed a rental so I took her to get one. By the time we waited for the phone call from the car shop and getting a rental it was dinner time. We really only wanted a snack and a drink just to finish off the night. We drove everywhere all over town but it was so rewarding on so many different levels. Our souls as friends was restored along with a need that was met. No matter how many miles I drove that day or even how many miles are between our cities, our hearts will always be bonded.


Romans 12:10 "be devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference to one another in honor."