Happy New Year!

January 4, 2009 at 11:16 am (Uncategorized)

This is adapted from an email I sent to some ministry colleagues this week:

I hope you are doing well.  This past year held some trying times for many of my friends, but I am sure that if you reflect carefully, you will see God’s faithfulness over and over.  For every day you felt you were alone, He was there.  For every time you didn’t have the money to cover an expense, He provided.  For every person who criticized you, He sent a friend to encourage you.  For every day you felt weak, He carried you.  And guess what!  You made it, you survived, you overcame.  The year ended and  you are still standing!

For me personally, 2008 was one of the worst years I can remember in many ways, but my trials were no greater than the ones that some of you faced.  Sometimes it seems that the rough times were so bad, that we forget the good ones, but there were also wonderful times along the way.  This past year, I lost the job I had worked for 7 years, I turned 50 years old, my tenth grandchild was born, and I returned to full-time ministry.  Still, I am excited about what the coming year holds, because I am looking forward in faith and determined to follow Jesus at any cost.  I have found such comfort and strength in several places this past year that I believe will help in the year to come:

1) The Word – Psalm 119:28 reads, “My soul is weary with sorrow; strengthen me according to your word.”  My old, worn out, tattered Bible is my favorite.  I often open the torn pages and find a breath of life when I’m feeling low.  It’s amazing to me how this Living Word can reach me exactly where I am at the moment.

2) His Presence – I know I don’t have to tell you this, but being in ministry does not always mean that you’re always on top of your game.  We often need to follow Jesus’ example and get alone in a quiet place where we have intimate communion with Him.  An awareness of His presence changes everything.

3) Obedience – This may not have been on my list any other year, but this year I have found peace in knowing I am following the path that God has laid out for me.  I have to remember that I can’t change a person’s life; that’s the Lord’s job.  So, even if I don’t understand it, I can say, “the LORD has done this, and it is marvelous in our eyes.”  When I don’t like the way my day is going, I can say, “This is the day the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.” (Psalm 118:23,24) 

4) My family – Even though I love being a part of the ministry through my church and through Truth Ministry, my primary ministry is found in my home.  In the Moore household, ministry goes both ways.  I give and receive ministry there.  Whether it’s one of the grandchildren running up saying, “Papa, you’re home!  I missed you!” as if I had been gone for a week, or one of my children refilling my glass at dinner, or an intimate evening out with Judy, I am sustained by the family God gave me.  They minister to me in ways that no one else can. 

I pray that in the coming year you will be strengthened and encouraged.  Please know that you you have friends who are praying for you and available for you.  I believe that we should look at 2009 as a year of great possibilities!  We will be called to declare the truth of God’s redemptive love during this year to individuals, and maybe even to communities, that need to hear that message of grace.  We may be challenged to learn to do things in a different way than usual.  Let’s be quick to hear, slow to speak, and always ready to minister the love of Jesus.

“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”  Hebrews 6:9

Happy New Year!

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TRUST

September 6, 2008 at 11:00 am (My Journey) (, , , )

As I was praying last week, and unfurling my scroll listing all my needs, I felt a prompting from the Lord to stop fretting and asking and pleading and manipulating, and to simply trust

But Lord, I thought I was trusting.  After all, I stepped out in faith and landed a big full-time, non-paying ministry/job!  Doesn’t that show that I’m trusting You with my needs. 

Well, noooooooo. 

There are at least three different ways to trust: in word, in appearance, and in deed.  When we truly trust, our words, appearance, and deeds are all affected.  I had two out of three going for me, but I realized my mind was full of worry and doubt, and my thoughts revolved around what I could do to fix my finances – how I could make it work.

So I resolved to make September a month of intentional and continual trust.  Today is September 6, and already, we have seen God provide in unexpected ways.  Supernatural to be sure, but using ordinary means and simply humble and obedient servants.  So, no complaining, doubting, or long faces here – at least for the rest of September! 

In the Amplified Bible, Proverbs 28:25 reads, “He who puts his trust in the Lord shall be enriched and blessed.”

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Hand to the Plow

April 9, 2008 at 4:11 am (My Journey) (, , )

The words in red letters from Luke 9 have always held my interest.  Verse 62 tells us that “Jesus replied, ‘No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God.'” 

My daddy grew up on a farm – well, as he was born to sharecroppers, he grew up on several farms.  I remember that my first understanding of this verse came from his explanation from his own experiences.  He said that a person plowing with a mule would set his sights on a particular tree or fence post at the other end of the garden in order to keep the furrows straight.  Anyone who was constantly turning to look behind would plow a crooked row.

I see so many connections to my life.  Some days the rows were straight, and some days not so much. 

This past weekend at our regional conference I heard another description of Jesus’ illustration to which I can also relate.  Some days the ground is hard and no matter which way you look the row is going to be crooked.  So, I’m thinking the issue must not be how straight your rows are; the issue is whether you are still holding the plow when you get to the end of the row. 

Have you ever TRIED to hold onto a plow in the hard soil?  Are you kidding me?!  I wouldn’t know which end of the plow was for the mule and which end was for me!  However, my imagination (which is quite vivid based on all the stories I’ve heard from my daddy) helps me understand why when I get to the “end” of my row, my hands are raw, my knees are bloody, and there’s mud on my face.  But there’s good news!  As hard as life can be, I can live with the Jesus’ promise in Matthew 10:22, “He that endures to the end will be saved.”

In this fourth month of my year of significance, I refuse to be defeated.  I refuse to look back.  I refuse to turn to the left or right.  My row may not be perfectly straight, but I will get to the end of it.  When I do, I want to hear, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”

The apostle Paul encouraged his apprentice, Timothy, with the same thoughts.  He said,

  • I have fought a good fight, (It wasn’t easy plowing, but I kept at it.)
  • I have finished my course, (I’m still hanging onto the plow at the end of the row.)
  • I have kept the faith: (I realize it wasn’t about me; it’s about His plan for me.)
  • Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.  II Timothy 4:7,8

So, don’t give up, and don’t give in!  Hang on, the end IS worth the means.

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Beware of SUDs!

January 18, 2008 at 7:26 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , )

If this is truly a year of significance, this has been a week of wonder!  I started out hearing God speak to me in ways that I thought were generalities only to find out quickly that He was being quite specific.  His ways are not as our ways, nor His thoughts as our thoughts.  One of the things that I heard through my pastor was “You will have choices to make in the days ahead that have the potential to change the landscape of your life forever.” 

SUDSYeah, yeah.  It seemed to me that you could say that to anyone on any given day and it could apply.  And it’s true – unless God is trying to get your attention.  I was reminded today of something that I have taught for the past few years.  Beware of SUDs.  I don’t remember where I first heard that SUDs stands for Seemingly Unimportantly Decisions.  Like the other suds, we can easily slip up on these. 

 I am reminded that every decision is important.  Especially now as I am looking forward with great expectatancy to where God will lead from here.  Our Cleansing Stream Ministry theme verse is especially meaningful this week.  “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord.

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