PASSION

TODAY’s Guest Post is from a college friend of mine. Although I didn’t know much about her then nor was I close to her, I watched her;  I watched how PASSIONATE she was about the things she did. And she came to mind when I wanted a post about the Monthly Word Focus of “Passion.”

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RECOGNITION

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We all have been at a point in our life when we’ve wanted to be recognized. Too often, I hear stories about people giving up or throwing in the towel. And a lot of those times, it was because they weren’t recognized or someone didn’t appreciate their work or effort.

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Satisfaction in the Saviour

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Some people believe that KNOWING the Savior means having an “experience” that made them “see the light.” However, it takes more than just having a head-knowledge of Jesus. It is more than having an “experience” or a “moment” in your life when you “felt” that Jesus saved you; either from a disaster, an accident, or any other kind of bad situation.

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4 Ways to Admire Your Family & Others (Feat. Special Guest)

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For the month of February, the Monthly Word Focus is ADMIRATION. You can read more about that here.

How often do we hear the expression, “It was an accident!” or  how often have we actually been the ones to say that? I can honestly say that I’ve said it more times than I would like to admit. I understand that LIFE is not perfect nor are we perfect as humans. However, imagine how much different and better LIFE would be if we were intentional in our words and actions.

Being intentional will not always guarantee that all will be well, but if we had the mentality of DOING and SAYING things on PURPOSE, I believe we can save ourselves a lot of hurt and heartache. In this post, you will see four ways on how you can admire those closest to you. BEING INTENTIONAL and DOING THINGS INTENTIONALLY  is fundamental to doing the three others mentioned in this post.

I am excited to feature a special lady that I have admired since I started following her on Instagram. She stood out to me because of how real, honest, and loving she was to her spouse and children. And although social media does not prove EVERYTHING or how your life really is ALL THE TIME, her pictures have said a lot.

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Photo cred: https://www.instagram.com/denaejonessa

Meghan lives with her husband and their 5 kids in Minneapolis, MN. She is expecting their 6th child in April 2018 and builds her businesses at home while homeschooling the kids. The family loves low key evenings at home and dinner around the table every night of the week. Meghan’s whole life mantra is “living for today” and shares that on her social media platforms to offer hope to others.

You can follow her on Instagram, @meghanjoytoday and her website, http://www.meghanjoyyancy.com

I sent Meghan a few questions and I have been encouraged by her answers.

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1) How are you as a wife and mom INTENTIONAL in your relationships?

When I am with certain people, I try to avoid any distractions that could be a hinderance (i.e. cell phone). When God lays on my heart to send a text to a friend, I do it. Sometimes someone will just pop into my head and heart and I’ll create a gift package to send them in the mail. I leave my schedule pretty wide open so that I have the capacity to be intentional in relationships. With my children, we try to make time for one-on-one dates so that we get to build on each relationship as a whole family as well as individually. With my husband, I’ll get that inkling like, “Meghan, just put your phone down and be WITH him, right now, in this space in time.” And I try to follow that urge and set all else aside to be with him. We also carve out most evenings to spend together after the kids go to bed.

2) How can we show INTIMACY with our children?

Letting them know that there is always a gate open to be vulnerable. Without judgment or condemnation, we want honesty and accessibility to reign. I’m continually telling the kids not to let their emotions be hindered or to ever have to feel they need to hide them from us but to open the door for that emotional intimacy to be seen and heard.

3) How do you show that you are INTERESTED in others?

I am an encourager at heart, so it’s very easy for me in that aspect. But also, often I fail at investing too much in others because I have to keep a balanced life. And so with having (almost) 6 children, a wonderful husband, homeschooling, housework, plus running multiple businesses from home, my capacity for much more is only so little. That being said, I strive for balance in all areas of life in order to show my concern and interest in others. Oftentimes, in conversations, I tell myself over and over again to just be quiet and listen. And often times, people have A LOT they want to say. And I want them to feel that someone is interested and thus be able to let it out, speak it, and be heard. So really, just listening can be a very good skill to learn.

4) How can you become more INVOLVED with your spouse & children & their interests?

By carving out time to do the things THEY love to do; even if that means sacrificing my own wants and needs. When I was dating my husband, I sat down and watched every basketball game with him. He loves basketball and it makes him happy to have me enjoy that with him. And to be honest, once I wooed him, captured him, and got that ring, I don’t think I’ve watched a single game with him in our almost 10 years of marriage. So sad, I know. I’m just being real. And maybe this was just the prompt I needed to make more of an effort in that area. (At least by sitting down next to him reading my book while he watches his game.) All that being said, it’s about sacrifice and putting others first, which I’m sure most of us can improve in.

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It was a great privilege to have Meghan share her heart about how she ADMIRES or can continue to admire her spouse and children. She hit the sweet spot on answering these questions. These are great reminders to me and it would be selfish not to share them with you all! I sure hope you can get to know her even if it is just through this social media community. Please feel free to let her know how she has blessed or helped you.

Until Next Time,

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Featured Image by: freestocks.org on Unsplash.com

11 Misconceptions of Full- Time Christian Ministry Workers

I didn’t have the privilege of growing up in a Christian home but I did have the privilege of attending a Christian school the last two years of high school. I have friends who are now in full-time Christian Ministry and others who are working at secular jobs. Over my “official” years of being in Christian Ministry, I have been constantly reminded of a few things.

I. I am reminded that surrendering your life to serve the Lord isn’t a burden, but a blessing. Yes, there are burdens that you will carry as a minister of Christ but the blessings He pours far outweigh any of those burdens.

II. Being called to serve the Lord takes faith. You are trusting that if you surrender to God’s call for your life,the Lord will provide the needs of you and your family.

11 MISCONCEPTIONS of Full-Time Ministry Workers:

      1. Since he/she works at the church, teaches at a private school, preaches at Christian camps or cleans the toilets at church, he must be “more-called” than someone who isn’t working in either of those areas.

No Christian is “more-called” than another Christian. God calls us to do different things and calls us, not according to who we are or what we are capable of doing, but according to HIS OWN PURPOSE, which he established BEFORE the world began.

Matthew 22:14 |1 Corinthians 1:26 | Philippians 1:6 | 2 Timothy 1:9

      2. Since you work in a Christian environment, everyone will be Christ-like ALL.THE.TIME.

NOPE! It’s best if everyone in your work environment is a Christian but sadly, even in Christian workplaces, there are unsaved employees or staff members. Your job is TO STILL BE Salt & Light. Someone once told me, “One of the easiest places to backslide is in a Christian workplace or environment.”  

Matthew 5:16

      3.  Since you work at the church and are getting paid for it, you should be part of most, if not all the ministries & no one else should lead those ministries except those on staff.

TOTALLY FALSE! I’ll be honest, I hate that mentality. As staff members of a church or Christian organization, our job is to assist the Pastor or Leader. Yes, we should SET THE EXAMPLE and be involved in the ministries provided but to DO ALL OF THEM or LIMIT THE LEADERS OF THOSE MINISTRIES to ONLY Staff members is unhealthy and absolutely ridiculous.

       4.   Since you are an employee at the church, you should be present EVERY. SINGLE. TIME the church doors are open. 

I remember trying to convince myself when I first started growing as a new Christian that I would be at church any time and every time the church doors were open… Although that isn’t necessarily bad, we can use that as our reason for serving… to make sure that we are “seen” any time and every time something is going on at church. If we aren’t careful, we become “PERFORMANCE” Christians rather than “WORSHIPPING” Christians.  We end up doing things for people rather than serving to worship God. 

Although church is great place to fellowship with other Believers, we should go to church for the main purpose of Worshipping God, not fellowshipping with others.

      5. Since you are a “Full-Time” Christian minister/worker, you must read your Bible all the time and live a consecrated life; or what others may consider, “not knowing how to have fun.”

Being a Christian doesn’t mean that you are NO LONGER Human. You are very much human! In fact, as a Christian, you have more to wrestle with… you are in constant battles with your flesh and the Spirit that now lives in you as a child of God.

There will be times when you will forget or fail to prioritize reading your Bible or praying.

There will be times when you will say things that you wish you would have never said.

There will be times when you give in to your flesh rather than being led by the Holy Spirit.

BUT, a Child of God doesn’t give up…

If you missed reading your Bible or praying one day, get back up and start again.

If you haven’t been in church in so long, get back up and start going again. (Don’t worry about what others may say)

And who ever said that Christians don’t know how to have fun??!??

We have the most fun! Sure, we may not be out there at the bars every weekend, and we are so glad we aren’t! Because who would want to party all night and wake up the next morning trying to remember what happened or “who” happened? Definitely, not me!

      6. Since you “get paid” to serve the Lord, you should be the one that’s faithful in giving your tithes and offerings. 

God did not just command those in Christian Ministry to be faithful in giving their Tithes and Offerings. He has called every  Christian to give. I mean if you read the verses after each of these verses, you would be crazy not to want to give back to God. After all, every thing we have is His.

Proverbs 3:9  | Malachi 3:8 |   Malachi 3:10  | Proverbs 3:9

        7. Since you have surrendered your life to serve the Lord, your kids will be upright and perfect and CANNOT or “ARE NOT ALLOWED” to make mistakes and be kids.

Puh-lease!!! Kids will be kids. For the longest time, I had these high expectations of anyone that was a Pastor’s Kid, Missionary’s Kid, or Kids with Parents in Full-Time Ministry. But I’ve come to realize that just because someone is a Pastor’s kid doesn’t make them more of saint than someone who isn’t a Pastor’s kid. Sure, we will have our expectations but we shouldn’t be surprised if “that” child acts just any other child.

       8. Since you work at church, your life is much more easier than the person who is working at a secular job, doing their best to be “Salt & Light.”

I’ve worked at both secular and ministry jobs. Being at a secular job takes a lot of courage because every day, you are bombarded with things of this world; temptations, curiosity, lust, etc. However, being at a ministry job still requires you to stand up when other “Christians” don’t necessarily act or talk like Christians; There are temptations many Full-Time Ministry Workers face and sadly sometimes, they are similar to what those at secular jobs face.

      9. Since you work in “full-time” Christian Ministry, you have “in” on all the drama and gossip that’s going around.

As much as many believe that, it’s not true to every Christian Ministry. In fact, many Ministry Workers would prefer not to know a lot of stuff, simply because it’s another “burden” they will have to carry. So, no! We don’t know all the drama and gossip in the church and as much as our “nosy”-selves may want to know, we really don’t want to have a part.

    10. Since you work in full-time Christian Ministry, you are more honored and preferred by visiting preachers than the person who just got off work and is sitting, trying to fight their sleep. 

Not true! Sometimes, visiting preachers may remember the names of those that are Ministry Workers easily because they can associate them with a title, such as Mr. D. Harriss – Youth Pastor. But that doesn’t mean that they are more appreciated than some faithful laymen who comes service after service, despite their busy work schedule. In fact, in my opinion, they have a deeper appreciation for those who work secular jobs and are still faithful!

11. Since you are in full-time Christian Ministry, you have more time to get stuff done and can easily serve the Lord.

Honestly, everyone has the same amount time – twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. Sure, doing stuff at the church is part of our “job” but that doesn’t mean that we have more time or an easier time to serve the Lord. Sometimes, working at a church is harder than it looks or sounds. There’s a constant reminder to be flexible, be available, and meet expectations on top of your regular life as a parent, spouse, or friend. So going back to the first misconception about Ministry Workers being “more called,” remember, before the world began, God already knew what your purpose was; what your calling was.

This post is in no way a means of comparing Full-Time Christian Ministry Workers and those working at Secular Jobs. It is not meant to put one “higher” than the other but to have a better understanding and to set things straight. Sometimes, what you think and assume isn’t really the truth.

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These are just 11 Misconceptions. I am positive that there are more but if you are a Full-Time Christian Worker, no matter what some one expects from you, remember, you are REALLY, TRULY serving the Lord, not people. (But you must still show your good works to people, so that they may see Christ in you).

If you are a Christian who isn’t in Full-Time Christian Ministry, I hope you have a better understanding and different view of those who are in Full-Time Christian Ministry. Just like you, they are just trying to serve the Lord. They are just doing it differently. Sure, it may include their paycheck but it is God who called them. They could’ve easily fulfilled another calling but the highest calling is whatever God called you to do, whether it be in Ministry or at a Secular Job. 

***Featured Photo by Ben White on Unsplash!