Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Dealing with Discouragement

I've written a Bible study entitled "Defeating Discouragement," so I should have it down pat, right?  Wrong!  I battle discouragement like everyone else, and because I'm in a visible leadership position, I feel as though I shouldn't admit it or let it show.  But that isn't a healthy way to deal with discouragement.

I have to remind myself that discouragement comes and goes--it's part of life.  And then I have to do what I know I should do, whether I feel like it or not!  There's something to the idea of just "bucking up" sometimes and putting discipline in place and keeping on keeping on!

God doesn't waste anything in our lives, not even discouragement.  And I was thinking that it's good to feel discouraged at times in order to relate to others, in order to practice what I preach, and in order to admit that I'm desperate without God!  How do people cope with discouragement when they don't know Jesus?  I wonder.

I've begun writing a new book which I'm calling "Get Over It."  So, I'll just use that medicine on myself today and say, once again, "Mary, get over it!"

Monday, April 19, 2010

Do I do enough?

Do you ever feel like you just don't do enough?  We had our missions conference at church yesterday, and as I listened to testimonies from several of our missionaries, I felt as though they were doing so much for the Gospel, sacrificially giving their lives, and my commitment and contribution seemed small compared to theirs.  I wanted to just volunteer right then to go overseas and do more for Jesus!

But then, in talking with a friend whose father-in-law was buried last Saturday, she told me of the many people who testified to the impact his life had on them.  Yet he lived a very simple life, was a carpenter, never visited a third world country, didn't preach any sermons or write any books.  But he left a life-long witness to the power of one life lived for Jesus.  Everyone who hired his carpentry skills soon came to see the difference in his life and the way he ran his business because he was a Christian, and he was greatly admired and loved by many.

I was again reminded that God is not so much interested in where we are, but rather in who we are.  And even if I moved overseas and sacrificed my "easy life" here, it would not automatically make my life more meaningful or effective for God's Kingdom.  I'm certain I don't do as much as I could do for Jesus, but living in a different place won't make the difference.

So, once again, I resolved to keep growing up in Christ to be the woman he wants me to be, and working here where he has put me, with the great joy of knowing that he takes the smallest things we do for him and makes them eternally significant.  What a wonderful Savior we serve!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

What is the name of the women's ministry in your church?

I am Director of Women's Ministries at my church, and we have decided it's time to change our image!  We need a new name that will identify all of the events and programs we have under women's ministries.  So, if you've heard some names that really strike a chord with you, I would greatly appreciate you passing them on!


Monday, April 12, 2010

How do you mend a relationship?

I'm just wondering- have you ever had a relationship go cold on you, and you had no idea why?  What is our responsibility as believers when we sense something is wrong, and we search our memories to determine if we've caused a hurt or offense, and finding nothing, what are we to do?

I've been puzzled about this lately, and finally left a voice mail that said, "If I've done anything to offend you, please forgive me," which did generate a callback, but it didn't seem to make any difference.  Though this person declared there was no problem, there's just no doubt that the relationship has changed and not for the better.

If you have encountered this kind of challenge, how did you handle it?  The Bible says if we have something against someone, we are to go to them directly.  But this shoe is on the other foot--so I'm not sure if I should try further or just pray and wait and see.  Appreciate your thoughts!