Endorse Each Other’s Ministry

“Paul and Peter could disagree and still endorse one another in ministry because they both knew the unconditional love of Jesus. An awareness of being fully accepted by Him allowed them to speak the truth in love and challenge one another to faithfulness. A secure foundation in God’s unconditional love and acceptance allows us to trust God and one another. Treating others with unconditional love helps to build trusting relationships with family members, friends, co-workers, and community members. How will your words and actions reflect Christ’s unconditional love to others today.” June 1, Day 153, Lead Like Jesus Devotional

So when I got to work one morning, I discovered this in my email. God uses all sorts of ways to speak to me and this one hit me like a glacier.

Humbled, I turned my eyes upward and said, “Yes, God, I hear you.” It was an immediate answer to prayer and a reminder of the scripture that talks about how easy it is to love a friend, but its not so easy to love an enemy. We can still disagree and love each other because Christ first loved us.

When have you disagreed with a ministry? How did you cope with it?

“Desperate Woman Needs Friends”

A blogger said on Friday, April 27 at incourage’s (IN)RL 2012 that she ought to put out a sign that reads, “Desperate Woman Needs Friends.”

She said this, and I said, “Me, too!” My dog looked at me from her comfortable spot on the floor. She was my only audience–the only one who kept me company on this side of the computer for (in)RL 2012 on a warm, friday afternoon.

Hospitality for the last three years has been my thing–first forming what I call a Friendship Tea where I invited total strangers from church to my house for Fellowship, then it morphed into joining a national group called, Praise and Coffee. Like some things that God didn’t mean for me to take the place of writing, it all faded, and with friendships that drifted I retreated like that blogger retreated.

A little envy crept into my heart as I heard and saw of friendships that met in real life. I was always inviting, but rarely the invitee. I wanted to be the guest, not the host like that blogger said on Friday. I wanted to know what it was like to have girlfriends who prayed, came over, who called (okay, I hate the phone–who text often or emailed) like the Rubber Band Gang I met through Saturday’s conference. They are friends who drop everything for each other, praying in person, and taking phone calls at 6:30 in the morning.

The blogger also said she had to remind herself to keep going, keep inviting, even if the invitation wasn’t returned. In my case, even if yet another maybe flies over the email reminding me that sometimes it feels like some are waiting for something better to come along. It’s one of the reasons I retreated. Out of context, it would seem like that, but without knowing the reasons for the maybes another blogger on Saturday’s (in)RL 2012 reminded us to give grace.

But don’t feel bad about saying no. That’s what they discussed on another video on Saturday. If you say, ‘yes’ to something you could be saying ‘no’ to your family. ‘No’ is healthy. We can’t accept every invitation as much as we’d like, and that’s why I stopped doing women’s ministry.

God called me to write, to pray, and to be a good friend and wife. Meeting with friends will have more serendipity and less of a structure of ministry. It will not require planning. It will not be ministry. In previous posts, I wrote how I hid behind ministry because I feared people and their rejections.

So yes…I can identitify with that blogger who joked about putting a sign in her front yard, “Desperate Woman Seeks Friends.” I never knew that so many women felt the same lonliness I have been feeling. Isolation comes regardless of where you live. A person can feel isolated in a great crowd, in church, in a mall, or in their own subdivision. If we all retreated in defeat, we’d lose the experiences of friendships, even the bad ones that teach us to be better friends.

Have you experienced this? Please explain.

Let us pray for you and connect with each other.