Monday, April 30, 2007

A Family Affair

It takes her about five minutes to walk the 20 yards to her mailbox with her "third leg" in her hand. That's just one way. It's another five minutes back to the house. She will stop and wave as you pass by. She never complains. She just goes about her life, simple as it is. I'm sure she gets lonely even though she has friends who come by and take her places. I know she wants to get outside and do things in her yard, especially this time of year. But her body will not allow it. So the flower beds are full of weeds which almost choke out the beauty of the Irises as they rise above the thick undergrowth.

I wish you could have seen her. Standing in her door weeping and smiling as families sweated together, got their hands dirty, and laughed while we served.

A few weeks ago I had the priviledge of teaching in our weekend services. I was directed by God to speak on serving your family. It was a real blessing and a great challenge to me personally. God has clearly told us to serve our faimly and make them a priority in our life of serving. One of the things I mentioned in that message was that we should serve our family by serving others as a family. I truly believe that one of the greatest things that we can do for our family is teach them the importance of serving others and about the blessing we receive from being obedient to God by serving others.

So yesterday that's just what we did. Our small group decided that we would work on the yard of the widow woman who lives across the street from me. Another one of the members of our small group lives next door to her and does a lot to help her. So as we were talking about a serving project that we could do as a group, we landed right across the street from our meeting place in the yard of a widow (I think I read somewhere about taking care of widows and how God desires for us to do that.).

No one did it to be noticed. No one did it even because it was "required." It was simply a act of "showing God's love in a practical way." That's what we like to call it around Rock Creek. That's what we believe the church should be. So that's just what we did.

She took about five minutes to get back to her house from the patio where we grilled hotdogs and ate together. She enjoyed her meal and thanked us with a big smile and misty eyes, took her "third leg" and was helped back home.

It didn't take my family long to get back across the street but I pray that the principle of serving others as a family will linger in the hearts of my children as long as they live.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Finding my Niche

As we talked a little more, I realized that she was going through the same thing I go through at times. We want to do what God wants us to do. We really would do whatever He told us to do. It just seems sometimes that we don't get a real clear direction.

Many of us are ready and willing to serve in anyway we can. If we see a need, we are quick to jump on it. We are able to do a lot of things and do them well. We enjoy helping others and we find great joy in gathering others together to accomplish a task knowing that we are meeting the need of the persons being served as well as the needs of those who are serving. And that really is our mission statement. We mobilize people to meet the needs of others all the while knowing that those who are serving are getting their needs met too. In doing this, we, as leaders, get great fulfillment too.

So why is there this nagging sense of being directionless? Why do we still feel like we haven't found our niche?

Could it be that we truly have found it but that it is just not as defined as the purpose others have? What if my niche, my purpose, is to organize and mobilize others, (young, old, families, singles, etc.) to meet the real needs of others (poor, rich, successful, homeless, believers, not yet believers, etc.) and in doing so provide an opportunity for those who are serving to be fulfilled as well as those who are being served? Can I be content in that? Can that really be God's purpose for me? Could it really be that "undefined?"

I think if we really stop and think about it, we will see that the definition is there and it seems to be the same purpose of someone else we know, love, and have put our faith in. So live in it today.