Intentional Ministry During the Holiday Season

Do you sometimes find yourself so busy during the Holiday season that you forget things like adding spices to the pumpkin pie, wrapping a child’s gift, or turning on the oven?  Shudder the thought!  

Last year on Christmas day I was so busy preparing the meal, getting out the serving dishes, visiting with family and cleaning up that it wasn’t until the end of the day when I was looking at family photos I noticed I had left my apron on the whole day.  Ugh!  What a great family photo.  It’s no big deal, I suppose, but I did get dressed up for Christmas – only to have covered my cute outfit with my pink and white stripped apron.    

I couldn’t believe I wore my apron all day long.  My Grandma’s used to wear their aprons all day but they were Grandmas.  Well… I am too, but… somehow in my mind this is different.  I don’t know if they forgot or it didn’t matter to them.  But I forgot.  I did not intend to wear my apron all Christmas day but I did.

This year I’ll pay better attention and remove my apron after Christmas dinner is cleaned up and before family photos are taken.  I’m going to be intentional about it.  I find when I’m intentional about things more things get done and in a better way. Being intentional about removing my apron has reminded me of other things I plan to be intentional about.

I’m sharing more about what I learned from wearing my apron all day at Raising An Arrow. Click here to join me.

Your Hobby Could Change Someone’s Life

Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. 1 Peter 4:10 (NIV)  Tuesday, October 20th, I had the pleasure of having a Facebook LIVE conversation with Coach John Kingery, a man who has taken 1 Peter 4:10 to heart – and then some.

I write and talk at length about using our gifts, skills and hobbies to serve God and others.  To do so is living beyond ourselves and reaching into the heart of another to affect them in a positive way – in a Jesus-with-skin-on kind of way – that’s unique to our knowledge, ability and experiences.

1 Peter 4:10 declares as we use our gifts to serve others we are being faithful stewards of God’s grace that shows up in various forms in our lives.  The gifts and talents with which we have been entrusted are given to us – not for ourselves alone – but to help someone else know Jesus.  The hobbies that draw our interest can be much more than entertainment and relaxation for our own scattered and frazzled minds and bodies  They are opportunities to connect with someone else – whether it’s around a quilting frame, sitting in a fishing boat, traipsing through the outdoors hunting birds or Bigfoot or on a basketball court or golf course.  God’s plan for us is to use what He has given us to serve others and share the love of Jesus.

I was reminded of that during the hour and a half I spent with Coach Kingery during my visit.  If you watched that LIVE video conversation, you heard about the way Coach is serving the charity Curing Kids Cancer.  (About that sideways video… I have no clue but it doesn’t last forever… just hang in there)  We’ll come back to Coach’s involvement with the the charity in a moment.  But first I want to share with you some of what you didn’t hear…

When I pulled into Coach’s driveway I was met by his infectious smile and the hug of a teacher seeing a Drivers Ed Student from 30+ years ago.  (I didn’t play basketball for Coach Kingery.  It was better for both of us that way.  I saved myself the humiliation and him the frustration – you’re welcome, Coach.)

As we walked through the door, Coach welcomed me into the home he and his sweet wife Peggy designed years earlier.  Peggy’s touch is indelibly imprinted in the home where many memories of cherished  love have been shared between them.  Coach shared some of those memories with me as he spoke of their family, their fondness of garage-ealing, traveling and life before Peggy was diagnosed with cancer.  That diagnosis would change their lives forever as Peggy passed away bravely fighting the terrible disease.

Coach shared with me how the children Peggy saw in their own battle with cancer during their trips to MD Anderson would move her to the core as she thought about the struggles they faced in their little bodies and the uncertainty of their futures.

Cancer is a battle many lose, unfortunately.  Yet this monstrous disease does not overtake everyone.  Many people who have been diagnosed with various forms of cancer have successfully beaten the disease and stood with hearts full of thanks to God and the medical profession as they ring the bell signifying their triumph after a hard fought battle.

We give thanks to God with every reverberation of the cancer-free bell.  We also give thanks to those in the medical field who work tirelessly to bring their expertise to the patients they treat.  And we give thanks to those who are committed to tedious research to develop treatments and cures for cancer.

It’s not only those on the frontlines trying to find a cure and help others win the fight against cancer for whom we have great appreciation.  We also owe much gratitude to people like Coach John Kingery who champion the cause and give of their time, money and talent to raise funds for research.

CoachKingery serves in fundraising for Curing Kids Cancer, a charity whose mission is “Finding cures for childhood cancers in our lifetime by funding innovative treatments and research.”  Please check out their website by clicking on their name above for more information.  They have made it easy for everyone to be a part of the research for a cure by donating in various ways.  You will be inspired and encouraged by the progress they are making through their efforts.  Go ahead – check’em out!

Along with the work Curing Kids Cancer is doing, what is interesting to me is how Coach got involved serving through fundraising for this charity.  (Watch the video to hear his story.)  Coach Kingery is raising funds to change the lives of children through cancer research because of a hobby – golf.

Levi Mcmellian,  a student where John coached in Seiling, and businessman as well as Co-Founder of CFO4Life, was hosting a golf tournament in Texas to raise money for Curing Kids Cancer.   This year’s golf tournament will take place September 30th and will raise $120,000-$130,000 for Curing Kids Cancer.  Coach played in a previous golf tournament.  Think about it.  It was through his hobby of golf, Coach was introduced to the charity.  It was his love for people and his obedience to serve God in the way God leads that compelled him to step up and say, “I want to help.”  How awesome is that?!

It is good for us to notice the various ways God uses people to serve in the various forms of grace God gives through gifts and talents.

  • Reasearchers
  • Doctors
  • Nurses
  • Analysts
  • Businessmen
  • Coaches
  • Basketball players
  • Golfers
  • this list is more extensive than we even have space for…

But what I want us to see is the connection between every person using their God-given gifts, talents, abilities and yes, even hobbies, to make an impact. 

Think you can’t make a difference?

Years ago when Coach swung his first golf club he had no idea his love for the game would be the connection that would enable him to use his motivating personality and inspiring stories to raise money for research that has the potential to improve a child’s life and change his or her future!

God will use what you already possess to make a difference in this world.  Coach Kingery’s gifts, talents and experiences are being used to raise funds for a worthy charity. They’re also being used to share Jesus with inmates through jail ministry and they’re being used as he inspires others with his passion for life and love for God and people.  He’s just one man.  But he’s one man making a difference through the life God has given him.

Everyone can make a difference because everyone has something to give.  Everyone has something to offer others.  What is that for you?  Maybe you know.  Maybe you don’t.  If you know… do something with it.  If you are… keep at it, friend!  If you don’t know… ask God.  He will tell you.  He wants to tell you.  He wants to use you to make a difference.  Don’t compare your difference with anyone else’s difference.  Just use what God has given you and go make a difference in your world.

Somebody would love to hear what you have to say.  Somebody would love to be your friend.  Somebody would love for you to share your gifts, talents and experiences with them.  Ask God to put those people in your path.  And when He does… “Use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.” 1 Peter 4:10

Make a difference, friend.  Make a difference.

Don’t forget Tuesday @ 8:00 p.m. (CST) to join our What Did God Say? Facebook LIVE Conversation!  For the blog post introducing this article click here.  Also join me on Facebook LIVE Monday – Friday @ 7:30 a.m. for Inspiration On-the-Go – a 10-15 min inspirational throughs from scripture.

5 Ways to Stay Inspired

Tips for Not Giving Up

Don’t you love people who when you get around them you go away inspired, recharged and ready to conquer whatever the day holds?  I have more than one person like that in my life.  But let me tell you about the one that inspired this post and Tuesday’s What Did God Say Facebook LIVE Video…

Every Tuesday and Thursday morning at 7:45 a.m., my sister-in-law Dora Borden and I meet up at Haworth Transformation Center to convince our 40-something bodies they can do anything we push them hard enough to do because we are strong and determined not to grow feeble as we age.  Pray we succeed.  

After we’ve done our strength training with our group, any given workout will end like this…

We walk side by side on our treadmills with a TV program we ignore playing in front of us.  We talk about last week, this week and next week.  That takes about 30 minutes.  Now we’re hungry but we’re not through talking.  So…

We make our way down to the Crooked Arrow Cafe to scarf down 2 eggs over-medium, ham and wheat toast while we talk about anything that may be bothering us or things we’re trying to figure out.  We quote scripture.  We share testimonies.  We go on about our kids and grandkids.  We encourage one another.  By this time we look at our watches and say, “I better let you go.  I know you’re busy and have things to do.”  One of us will pay and we’ll head out the door.

We’ll get to our rides and remember that one thing we were going to say then stand outside the cafe for another 30 minutes and talk about it. People will go in the cafe, eat their breakfast, come back out and we’ll still be there talking.

Now, I know what you may be thinking – Who in the world has so much time to spend talking?!  Well, we make time.  Our schedules are flexible and we make time to spend with each other and here’s why…

By the time I’ve spent a strength training session, a walk on the treadmill, breakfast and a parking lot conversation with Dora…if I was down in the dumps I wouldn’t be any longer.  If I was doubtful my doubts would be gone.  If I was discouraged I would be encouraged.  If I was confused I would at least be on the path to clarity. If I was tired I would be energized.  If I needed a listening ear or a helping hand I know that my sister would do everything she could to help me with anything I needed.  Who wouldn’t want to make time for someone like that?  She’a a tremendous blessing in my life.

2-girls-and-bike

Dora is someone with whom I stay connected.  Not just because we’re sisters (by marriage – a minor detail) but because staying connected to her helps me maintain a strong connection with God and my purpose in life.  If she was to see me start to veer off course she has the permission to speak correction and truth into my life.  If she was to see me withdraw and isolate myself, she has the freedom to barge into my life and say pull yourself out of it, Sister!

She has those liberties wth me and I have those liberties with her.  Why is that important?

Because we need people we’re closely connected to who will help us on this Christian walk.  They help us navigate the storms of life and they celebrate the victories with us, too.

two-girls-back-of-heads

Talking to Dora inspires me.  She keeps me motivated and on track.  Staying connected with Dora is important to me and I’m a better person for it.  Being connected to people such as Dora is vital to my spiritual and emotional health but true vitality of life requires even more than having a close friend.

In Tuesday’s What Did God Say Facebook LIVE Video, we’re going to discuss 5 Ways to Stay Inspired.  I’ll start the conversation with 5 ways but I’m sure you have your own ways and tons of inspirational thoughts to share.  So join the conversation!

Let’s talk about 5 Ways to Stay Inspired Tuesday, September 20th @ 8:00 PM (CST).

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Blessings!