While writing my Ministry Report and thinking about my job here, I thought about how It involves planting seeds in tiny hearts and minds. Little bits of spiritual knowledge mixed in with a lot of fun and play. God placed me here to sow, knowing it will be a few more seasons before some of the seeds are watered enough to take root and grow. More than likely, it will not be me that sees the finished work.
Isn’t that true about so many things in life? We sow seeds, and then we wait. And while we wait, we trust. Faith and works go together, and God works in the waiting, whether we see it or not.
The Bible gives us many metaphors where we are likened to farmers sowing seeds, and it also tells us we will reap what we sow, but it doesn’t tell us when we will reap it! I think that is where faith comes in, we sometimes have to just take God at His word.
Whatever our roles are in building God’s Kingdom. Wherever He’s placed us, He has given us seeds to sow, and we are all spiritual farmers; planting, watering, and harvesting for His Kingdom. Don’t be discouraged if you don’t see the results you are hoping for right away. Seeds take time to grow!
The hidden things belong to God, and He is working. Just keep going…keep sowing, and He will take care of the growing. Don’t give up!
“Let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.” Galatians 6:9
“Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows.” Galatians 6:7
“Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously.” 1 Corinthians 9:6
“Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness.” 2 Corinthians 9:10
Warmest greetings beautiful women of Cold Springs Church and community,
It's my joy to share with you this encouragement that's been on my heart and mind this week. As women, we inherently have a tendency to judge ourselves harshly and hold ourselves to a very high standard of conduct and performance. Perhaps it's because we are so many things to so many people at the same time. What a gift that is! We are each made up of varying degrees of mother/daughter, professional/career, woman and spiritual being, among many other things. This can easily turn our minds to the desire to do more, achieve higher, love more sacrificially. The great news is that this guilt-evoking self-talk undermines the very foundation of our Savior's GRACE for us! Our Heavenly Father wants us to REST in the assurance of his perfect love. He approves of you and I continuously for we are made in His image and clothed in His righteousness. Take a deep breath in that there is now no condemnation for you sister in Christ! You are enough and you're doing a great job! Caution yourself against the tendency for anxious works to creep in and steal the joy that God intended for you and I. "I delight greatly in the Lord, my soul rejoices in my God. For he has clothed me with garments of salvation and arrayed me in a robe of his righteousness, as a bridegroom adorns his head like a priest, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels." Isaiah 61:10
“Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own sight. Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.” Romans 12:15-18
Isn’t is interesting that the above passage urges us to share in the emotions of those around us right before it exhorts us to be harmonious, humble and honorable? What does one have to do with the other?
Shared experiences unite us. Unity may lead to empathy. Empathy begets compassion. Compassion can result in humility. Humility breeds love. Love brings peace. These are important parts of following Jesus. Being part of God’s family.
If ever there was a time to demonstrate our need of Jesus and one another, it is now. It is always now, isn’t it? Now is the proper time to weep with the grieving in our midst. Now is the time to celebrate with those rejoicing too. Now is definitely the time to glorify God through it all.
Because this I know…
These are gifts of grace. Grace that allows us to boast in the power of Christ resting upon us, in the good times and bad. Lately, we have seen Jesus show up in our community in mighty ways, in both wonderful and devastating moments. Yet we know… we absolutely know… we can lean into his strength. His presence is strength and grace. And we can better lean, when we do so together.
“But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” 2 Corinthians 12:9-10
God’s Choices About the Creation of the World:
“God created things which had free will. That means creatures which can go wrong or right. Some people think they can imagine a creature which was free but had no possibility of going wrong, but I can't. If a thing is free to be good, it's also free to be bad. And free will is what has made evil possible. Why, then, did God give them free will? Because free will, though it makes evil possible, is also the only thing that makes possible any love or goodness or joy worth having. - C.S. Lewis
16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. - John 3:16-18
Man’s Choice About the World:
Other choices we have:
Is it more important to you to love God or to love yourself and the life you are creating? The choice really is yours to make. God loves you so much that He holds nothing back from you. He loves you enough to let you walk away. He loves you with an ever-burning passion to see you return to Him. You will always have the choice to love, serve, and obey the One who created you, the One who has nothing but the best in mind for you. But you will also always have the choice to walk away and try it your own way. The choice will always be yours but know the consequences will always result in God’s will or your own.
“I LOVE puzzles!” My name is Sylvia Fuller. I am one of the children’s ministry directors for KidsWorld. Puzzled is this month’s theme for God’s kids in KidsWorld elementary.
When constructing a puzzle and navigating life, one must exercise WISDOM. It is WISE to know, to believe and to trust there is a plan to build a puzzle. In the same way, it is wise to know, to believe and to trust God has a plan when He created each of us.
-Begin with the frame. WISDOM of God: Psalm 139:15 “My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.”
-Color coordinate the pieces of the puzzle. WISDOM of God: Psalm 139:13 “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.”
-It is WISE to take in and to be in awe of the developing bigger picture. WISDOM of God: Psalm 139:14 “I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.”
-Do not force a piece of the puzzle in place until its’ time. WISDOM of God: Psalm 139:16-18 “Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. How precious to me are your thoughts, God! How vast is the sum of them! Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand—when I awake, I am still with you.”
“Life can sometimes feel like a giant puzzle. All we can see is the piece we’re experiencing right now, and we’re not sure where it fits into the greater picture that is forming. We can’t always understand why some things happen to us or those we love. Yet, despite our confusion, we can have HOPE. God has kept promises throughout history. We can believe that God will continue to be with us through what we face now. Even in the toughest times, we can have HOPE because we know God is always working and can make something good out of something bad.” (OS Quote)
Be WISE. Apply WISDOM when constructing a puzzle, and especially in navigating life!
When I was asked to write a Wisdom Spotlight for the blog I decided to take it literally and write about wisdom.
Wisdom is not something we naturally have. We’re not born with it and we can’t acquire it from the world. True wisdom comes from God. The Bible says,
“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.” Proverbs 9:10
That’s where wisdom starts- with God.
There’s a lot of knowledge in the world; endless information, facts, figures, and statistics, but that’s different than God’s wisdom.
“For the wisdom of this world is foolishness in God’s sight.” 1 Corinthians 3:19
Knowing information does not produce wisdom, knowing God does. It begins there, and there is where it grows, in time spent with Him, in His word and in prayer.
If we lack this kind of wisdom, we can ask God for it.
“If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God,
who gives generously to all without finding fault,
and it will be given to you.” James 1:5
God desires for those who know Him to have wisdom and He is eager for us to ask for it and believe we will receive it.
“But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt,
because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea,
blown and tossed by the wind.” James 1:6
How can you tell the difference between God’s wisdom and the world’s? James 3:17 tells us,
“But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure;
then peace-loving, considerate, submissive,
full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere.”
I don’t know about you, but I need all the wisdom I can get. Wisdom helps us maneuver through a turbulent world and whatever may be going on in our lives each day. Isn’t it comforting to know all we have to do is ask God for it and then take Him at His word?
In His Grace and Truth- Charlotte
Have you ever signed up for something and later regretted it? The best scenario is when you willingly pay for something, followed by "What was I thinking?". That was my experience when I signed myself and my kids up for trapeze school at the Santa Monica Pier. I was pulled by the thought of the lifelong memories we'd make, then I was tugged by the fear for my life. Tug and pull: such is life, right? Especially when life is transitioning and you need to let go of something and grab hold of something new. Ironically, much of trapeze school was like life.
I signed up for something that seemed like a good idea (like life) & my kids were beyond excited. I couldn't wimp out now and let anyone down (like life). We were given minimal instruction (like life) on the ground and expected to "do it" after being shown the stunt once. After I climbed a rickety ladder and stood on the platform, I thought, "How can I back out now?" (like life). It felt like everyone was watching & they were all going to witness me fail (like life). I needed encouragement (like life). The young trapeze worker on the platform said to me, "You'll do great. Don't over think it. Sometimes you just gotta let Jesus take the wheel" (like life). And I did (like life). It was frightening (like life), exhilarating (like life) and I felt closer to God (like life).
In trapeze class, you literally need to let go of your grip from one safe place to get to your next safe place. However, you cannot not let go until you're firmly grasping your next safe place. How wonderful is it to know that Jesus always has a firm grip on us and will never let you go? And what if we fall...from a trapeze or otherwise? There's a harness and a net to catch you in trapeze school. In life, it's Jesus who's always there to break our fall and catch us.
Yes, I signed up for something that resulted in serious buyer's remorse, but later was thankful for the growth caused by the discomfort. Sometimes we need to let go of something and grab on to something else in order to move forward and grow. All the while, remembering that there is always a strong grip on us.
As a support to ministries as a whole, it is hard to know which specific ministry I fit in. I support all ministries in any way I can! I guess you can say I have a foot in each branch of ministry here at Cold Springs, and what a blessing that is! The way in which I support each area varies, but I love being involved where I can.
This past week I had the opportunity to work closely with pastors David Sarmago and Daniel Frank in our Community Care team. It's such a rewarding experience to meet and (almost always) exceed the needs of families that are seeking our blessings and encouragement. To see the overwhelming joy on their faces when we deliver basic-needs items is not lost on me. It's such a humbling reminder of God's tender mercies. The way He works in our lives is truly incredible to me and I'm beyond thankful I get to experience it. Because of Him, we are able to bless families in need. They are blessed with not only what we provide them, but with the reminder that they are not alone.
I'm reminded of the phrase "it takes a village." When we combine our efforts as a church family, we are able to do so much more together than individually. How we are able to bless is so amplified! I look forward to continuing being a part of our Community Care team and blessing the families that the Lord leads to us.
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