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Ask not what your church can do for you; ask what you can do for your church!

Divine Note #25 – June 21, 2009

Hebrews 13:7 (New Living Translation)
Remember your leaders who taught you the word of God. Think of all the good that has come from their lives, and follow the example of their faith.

Ask not what your church can do for you; ask what you can do for your church!

As usual, I’m blown away by God’s messages. Today Beth Moore [in our Esther study] spoke about reversal of destiny and how God appoints or allows circumstances in our lives to redirect our paths, and she quoted John F. Kennedy’s “Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country” speech. The headline of this note had already been in my heart for several days. A few weeks ago [see Divine Note #22] I wrote of how God has had his hand all over my family through First Methodist Houston.

This week I received a beautiful tribute on the 10th anniversary of the passing of about a very special person from my sister, YaYa. She wrote about the Reverend Isaiah Flores, pastor of her childhood church, Templo Bethel - a Pentecostal church, for about 30 years until his death in 1999.

We met Hermano (brother) Flores when he officiated at my dad’s funeral - sadly it was one of his first official duties at his new church. My grandmother had just left the Catholic Church and had become a “born again” believer. My sister’s tribute tells how Hermano Flores became like the father she never had. He was pivotal in her accepting Jesus as her savior, he baptized her and he officiated at her “Quince Anos” (15th birthday), at her wedding and family funerals. And even though I wasn’t an official member of the church, he also prayed at my 15th birthday celebration and he always took time to explain that Jesus loved me regardless of how I felt about the church. He was a tender man with soft hands and a big heart for Jesus.

The reason I’m telling this story is because “church” politics tore my family apart for many years. And I believe that this is why so many people are alienated from mainstream churches today. Some members of my family remained Catholic, others became Pentecostal and then there was me – I thought that both factions were nuts and so I decided that “religion” was for the birds! I didn’t attend church for many years even though I felt the power of Jesus all over my family’s life. Fast forward some 30 years later and I write about how First Methodist Houston has been there for Jackie and I realize how the “church” has carried my family! What a wonderful reversal of destiny for me and the generations that will come after me!

The message of this note is for you to understand that the church is composed of many people, who are flawed human beings but who have a heart to do the work of Jesus Christ. Pastor Paul’s sermon was right on target! At the heart of the matter is that Jesus expects all of us to take care of the hungry, the sick, the poor, those in prison, the widows and everyone who needs to feel His love (Matthew 25:31-46). And not just those in our own churches! But in order to do what we are asked to do, I can tell you that it’s easier to take action if you are among a group of people who understand the power of God’s Spirit!

I happen to worship, serve God and others through an organization that calls itself Methodist. I absolutely adore Dr. Wende and Pastor Paul, but I also listen to one of the most wonderful Baptists around, Dr. Charles Stanley! I also love Joel Osteen and Joyce Meyer because they inspire me to love God and they teach me how to be a practical Christian. I also support KSBJ because their music helps me worship God in a powerful way. I make it a point to read and understand the Bible (this includes research) and to listen to what God is speaking to my heart.

I’ve also learned that our leaders can’t do all the work by themselves. We all have to get out of our pews and serve our church members and our communities. I am taking God’s work very seriously and through lay ministry training, I want to learn how to be an effective servant.

For example...
I continue to be blown away by the way God always has my back because in doing His work, I realized that I’m going through the empty-nest grieving process. Many of you know that Jackie will be leaving for college in August. The Lord is giving me the knowledge to help myself as I help others! I was in the denial phase, but now I’ve moved into the sadness phase. When I walked into Sunday school class, I shared it. I can’t imagine not having my built-in support group – women like Gloria and Kathy who understand how I’m feeling!
Dear Father,

Thank you for giving me the knowledge and the courage to understand my journey and how it impacts others! Even though my heart is sad that my child will be leaving to start her college life, I have a huge ministry to handle for you! You have been preparing me for the next phase of my life. Thank you for helping me through the sadness. I do feel your big God hugs, and through tears I praise You and ask You to strengthen me and anyone else who is grieving. I’m glad I know that it’s not about me! Love you Lord!Blanca
Please continue to write and let me know how you are stepping out to serve! Get serious about making an impact with your life. As Gloria told me this morning, “Ask not what God can do for you, ask what you can do for God!” Have a powerful week and share the love of Jesus Christ with at least one person this week!



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