ministry, need, prayer

It Might Be My Idea, But Maybe Not My Calling

If you read my blog on Saturday, February 19, you will know that once again, I’m going through a “deletion” process. I’ve listed everything I’m doing, committed to do, want to/should do and organizations to which I belong. And I’m praying, asking God what activities on the list He wants me to do and/or not do. I am waiting to hear from him and I will not add anything to that list until He says so.

In the past, I’ve opened the door to the need of making a list such as the one mentioned above. I will volunteer to do something before I even consider my schedule at that time, much less pray and ask God if I should volunteer. What really gets me in trouble is seeing a true need, especially within the church, developing great ideas for that need (need = ministry) and presenting those ideas to the pastor or perhaps the Board. Can I just say here that when you do that, you inherit said ministry? Here are at least a few reasons why this is so wrong:

1. I didn’t pray first (or enough), asking God whether or not He was calling me to be the person to develop ideas and present them to the Board.

2. In moving ahead of God in this matter, I’m moving, developing and presenting in my own strength. And once I “own” that need or ministry, I’m definitely working in my own power – such as it is – and strength.

3. By stepping ahead of God regarding this need or ministry, I’ve just taken the role that He had selected someone else to do. Thus, I’ve deprived that person from answering God’s call and being blessed as a result. And I’m stil doing something that God didn’t tell me to do.

4. I didn’t pray first (or enough) asking God whether or not He was calling me to fulfill this need.

5. Did I mention I didn’t pray enough??

I share all of this today as a reminder to myself – don’t do this again!! Hopefully it will help you who read it. God plainly states in Jeremiah 29:11 that He has “plans for our future and hope.” In his timing, He will show you those plans. He will give you the roadmap, showing you every mile marker to those plans. And when you arrive, you will be blessed. Don’t move ahead of Him. Just wait. Listen. Obey.

creative, journaling, need, write

Old, New, Surprise! Surprise!

I am an old writer. Not old in years – – well, not too old, anyway. But old in the sense that I’ve been writing for a long time. I began journaling at least 15 years ago. I haven’t journaled everyday of those 15 years, but enough to have accumulated quite a few spiral-bound notebooks full of my random and not-so-random thoughts. The good thing about keeping a journal is it won’t talk back. It won’t give you its opinion or tell you what you are doing wrong. The bad thing about keeping a journal is it won’t talk back. “People Need Other People” is an old song (yes, I realize I’m close to giving my age away). This song title says it all. We need each other. We need to hear the voice of reason from our best friend, or parents and yes, sometimes the voice of reason comes from our children. And we need to be hugged, or at least be affectionately touched. Scientific research has shown that every individual needs a minimum of 10 positive touches a day. So, go hug your kids. And your spouse. You will be glad you did.

Ah, but I digress.

I am a new writer. About 18 months ago, God spoke to me as I was reading His Word and journaling and He said I was to begin writing. I had to bite my tongue to keep from laughing. I’ve always said “I’m not creative. When God was passing out the creativity genes, He passed right by me without stopping.” But the thought would not leave me. I took four online creative writing classes and I’ve never looked back. Which leads me to…

Surprise! Surprise! Imagine my total shock when I received an email yesterday that one, possibly two, of the short stories I had entered into a contest had made it to the short list. I was, and still am, very surprised. To be this new in the writing arena and have one of the first things I wrote make it onto the short list of a prestigious contest is nothing short of amazing. To me, at least. But not to God. After all, He gave me that creativity.

(c) 2009 Edwina E. Cowgill