Friday, January 23, 2015

Great Novel in the Making


It is the eve of my annual interview with the Board of Ministry. This year I have decided to petition the board for ordination. I petitioned the board last year but knew at the time that it was a long shot because I have only served in part-time ministry (odd phrase considering that I don't know how any minister would consider themselves in PART-TIME, my calling isn't part-time) and I had only had my district license for three years. So this year there is a good chance with the board's and district's blessing that I could be ordained in April, 2015. So I find myself reflecting back over this journey.

April 29, 2009, I attended an ordination service for the Alabama South District Church of the Nazarene as a delegate for my local church. I was serving as Children's Ministry Director at my local church and I had been praying for direction in what I should do in my life. I had been unemployed for over a year and seeking full-time employment in my career field of social service. Just a note I had a calling to ministry in 1996 to be a youth minister but I had long moved from that calling and God. Thankfully God had never moved and in 2007 I was saved. There I was listening as the General Superintendent at the time spoke, my heart began to hear the gentle calling of God. At an alter in Millbrook, AL, I was sanctified and received/reaffirmed the calling to be a minister for God. The awesome thing is that over time I learned that I wasn't the only woman called to ministry in that ordination service, there were several others. One of those women is a lead pastor and one of the other women I have the joy of serving alongside at my current church. I call them friends. God is Amazing!

That first year or so was a time of discernment of what the call meant and a lot of clarity. I went from a deacon to an elder track in that first year or so. I began preaching here and there. I moved from Children's Ministry to College and Career. As time went on I began to meet with the Board of Ministry, I believe this year is my 6th meeting with them. There have been some good times and lows and times when I asked "God are you sure? ME?" but always with an assurance and peace that "YES!" Now, I have been a youth pastor for a year and half at a small church, my first assignment away form that home church where everything began. 

There have been great challenges and achievements within my studies. I have enjoyed getting to know others and learning from professors who are knowledgeable in their areas of expertise. In Fall, 2013, I finished my last class in the course of study. I granted completed status with my course of study by the Board of Ministry in January, 2014. But there is a desire to work on getting my masters. I feel as if I am just on the edge of great knowledge. I have the foundational tools but there is so much more to learn. I'm hungry to go deeper and to have a greater understanding of the Bible than I already do. And there is always a book I want or need to read....the reading list keeps growing.

My life story is like a great novel. The beginning is inviting and sets up the plot, but it isn't until you get to the middle that you begin to see the true complexity of the main character and subsequently all the other characters. I pray that this chapter of my life will end with another Ordaniation Service in late April, 2015 but this time it will be me with the elders laying hands on and praying over. If it doesn't occur this year, it is okay. That just means God has more for this chapter. But if the chapter ends with that moment, be prepared for this novel to begin to take on new and exciting adventures full of the highs and lows, twist and turns, faith and love that any great novel demands. 

photo credit: dklimke via photopin cc

Friday, January 16, 2015

Living Life and Enjoying a Cup of Happiness

2014 was a great year full of amazing adventures and memories. But it ended with some unexpected challenges with regards to my health. These first few weeks of the new year have been filled with the excitement of new beginnings and feeling more like ME with each passing day. That is me minus a gallbladder and with a few new scares.

I started this week back at full steam at work and finally feeling better than I have in months. But then I was quickly met with a new unexpected challenge. I wasn't sure at the start of the week what, why or how to deal with this challenge. My emotions were all over the place from laughter to tears and everything in-between. Uncertain why but determined not to let it get the best of me, I pressed on.

 I have been unable to live life to its fullest for so long that this week I wanted to enjoy each day to the fullest. Instead I was stuck inside in a office for 10+ hours with continuous work responsibilities. I wanted to break free and enjoy life. I wanted to do spring cleaning at home. I wanted to read a book and slowly sip a cup of coffee. I wanted to listen to music while driving down some back road for fun. As the week has come to an end and today is my day off, I'm ready to do all that I have been restricted from doing.


The rest of this weekend I will be full of doing what I was made to do with several appointments/meetings, final preparations for Sunday, preaching, phone calls/texts, etc. But today I'm just going to dance while listening to music and cleaning my house, sip that extra cup of coffee with a smile, read a good book and I may even fit in long drive for fun.

Friday, January 9, 2015

Action

Two weeks ago I read a blog that gave multiple reasons a church might not be growing. Most of it was common sense stuff. Things like there is conflict or past(old) vs. present (modern). The one that stuck with me has caused me to rethink how I do ministry and ultimately live life. It was "you talk more than you act". WOW! (Those of you who really know me Stop Laughing, I'm aware I talk tooooooo much!)

I found myself stuck with this word ACT. It just keeps coming up in my mind and life situations. Every time I turn around I feel it poking me. The pokes hurt! The hurt doesn't come from a lack of desire or because I'm lazy. It seems to be coming from the fact that if I am really honest I have failed to act in my life over the last few years. I have been so busy making plans, thinking of great ideas, making to do list and trying to keep up with my crazy schedule (i.e. work, church, family) that I haven't followed through with the majority of it.

So this year, one of the three resolutions I choose was Action. It is time to stop just making to do list, plans and thinking/talking/discussing ideas. It is time to get up and move. I want to grow. I want to live. I want to be active. 

I'm sure I will stumble at times. I'm sure there will be some "not going to try that again" moments. But If I don't get up and start living this beautiful life I have been given, I know I will not grow and those that I share this life with will have missed an opportunity to grow with me.            

photo credit: tim caynes via photopin cc                                                                        

Friday, January 2, 2015

Your Invited to Join the Journey

A good friend has given me some pointers on how to be the best blogger I can be. Thanks - you know who you are. She provided several pointers but there were two that grabbed my attention. As a result, over the last few days I have been pondering several questions. Who is my audience? What is my platform?

It would be easy to assume my Audience would be family/friends, other ministers or Christians in general. The matter of who my audience is can be easily explained and identified. I'm a preacher, I'm called to serve God and people. I'm called to share the Good News with anyone and everyone that I am blessed to meet. So that said, my audience is you, whoever YOU are.

That brings me to the second question. Now if you have read thus far you would automatically think my Platform is one of evangelism. And though I would be humbled and excited that this blog would provide the opportunity to see lives changed by God, it is not the only reason I write. I want to be authentic. I want to share life with you all. The highs and lows. To share the spiritual truths I have learned and that I continue to learn along with the life experiences of a preacher girl who is single, serving God and loving life.

Life is a Journey. I would like you to join me. Maybe we will find that by the end of 2015 we will have become a better version of ourselves.

photo credit: insømniac via photopin cc