Showing posts with label ministry. Show all posts
Showing posts with label ministry. Show all posts

Saturday, July 27, 2019

She Loved the Children


Colossians 2:2-3
My goal is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. 


Our community lost a treasure. Lori Conley fought cancer and lost that battle. But in the ultimate battle, she won. I know without doubt that Lori is rejoicing in heaven. She's talking to God, whom she loves, and singing his praises, even as the folks left behind feel a huge loss.

The first time I met Lori, she spoke at my grandkids' closing VBS program. Her words and compassion gave me goose bumps. I'd never heard anyone so passionate about helping children. Her program, Empower Youth, was getting off the ground. She'd heard God's voice, felt his nudges and jumped in. She and Scott provided a beautiful pathway for folks to help the kids who needed love, sustenance, a chance to experience camp and so much more. One of the things I loved about Lori was her desire to feed the children who were hungry. She made sure their basic needs were met, then she loved on them. A fireball of energy, she worked all the time. Not to have fancy things, but to make sure kids had food. Just Wow!

I don't understand why she passed from this world at such a young age, in the middle of her ministry. But God does. We may never understand. But what we can do is trust God to move forward through the folks left behind. I know there are people who love the kids, too. God will nudge people to serve. He'll call us to give money, he'll ask for our time, he may ask for leadership. He has a plan for Empower Youth.

If God comes calling, listen. Do it for Lori, do it for God, do it for the kids.

Maybe your ministry isn't Empower Youth. Maybe God has called you to something else. Whatever it is, listen and move on it.
Someone, somewhere is depending on you to do what God has called you to do.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Fiction Book Review: Christy by Catherine Marshall

About the book:

New edition of Catherine Marshall's inspirational classic! 

The train taking nineteen-year-old teacher Christy Huddleston from her home in Asheville, North Carolina, might as well be transporting her to another world. The Smoky Mountain
community of Cutter Gap feels suspended in time, trapped by poverty, superstitions, and century-old traditions.

But as Christy struggles to find acceptance in her new home, some see her - and her one-room school - as a threat to their way of life. Her faith is challenged and her heart is torn between two strong men with conflicting views about how to care for the families of the Cove.

Yearning to make a difference, will Christy's determination and devotion be enough?


About the author:
Catherine Marshall (1914-1983), The New York Times best-selling author of 30 books, is best known for her novel Christy. Based on the life of her mother, Christy captured the hearts of millions and became a popular CBS television series. Around the kitchen table at Evergreen Farm, as her mother reminisced, Catherine probed for details and insights into the rugged lives of these Appalachian highlanders. Catherine shared the story of her husband, Dr. Peter Marshall, Chaplain of the United States Senate, in A Man Called Peter. A decade after Dr. Marshall's untimely death, Catherine married Leonard LeSourd, Executive Editor of Guideposts, forging a dynamic writer-editor partnership. A beloved inspirational writer and speaker, Catherine's enduring career spanned four decades and reached over 30 million readers.
Find out more about Catherine at http://gileadpublishing.com/christy/.

My Review:
Cracking open Christy was like going home for me. I read Christy probably six or seven times between high school and college, back in the 1970s. I even wrote a paper using Christy as the core book. I can honestly say that Christy is my all-time favorite novel. Yes, I love it that much. Catherine Marshall's writing is simply beautiful. Her descriptions pulled me into the story and made me feel I was in the Smoky Mountains right along with Christy. And the characters! She has a knack for breathing life into each person Christy met. I love Fairlight and the beauty she brings to her life regardless of her circumstances. Alice Henderson is amazing. How fun to read about the doctor and David. Marshall wove so much of the Appalachian culture into the story. Although the book is based on her mother's experiences, the story is much more the tale of a young naive woman who grows up by jumping into a new experience with both feet as she finds her calling. I cannot recommend this book highly enough. I believe it should be read by anyone who wants to serve others, particularly teachers. The book is fairly long, but once you're hooked, you'll want to keep reading. This is a perfect read for the cold months of winter. Snuggle up with a cup of tea or coffee and a favorite old quilt and journey to the mountains with Christy. (I received the book for free from Lightfuse.)

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Work with all Your Heart

1 Thessalonians 1:3
We remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.

Colossians 3:23
Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters...

In Bible college we learned about working in ministry. Many of my classmates went on to be pastors, children's ministers, and youth leaders. But most of us have worked in secular jobs. Teachers, carpenters, office managers, and librarians. I'd been home with my children for years before I worked in public. Raising kids had been my ministry and I enjoyed it. I loved encouraging and shaping their lives and ministering to their friends.

Dad was a cook in the service.
When I entered the workforce, I struggled to figure out how I was to minister when I wasn't in a ministry position. I wasn't prepared. I had days where I thought what's the point. Sure, I earned money and liked what I was doing. But, how was I to show people Jesus. When I read Colossians 3:23 it started to make sense. Whatever I do, I do for God. It's all for him. I needed to be a faithful employee, honest, encouraging and serving. So whoever I worked with or met saw Jesus in me. I have a confession. I still have days when I get down and wonder what I'm doing. Just last week I felt that way. My friend posted Col. 3:23 on Facebook, and  there it was-- the verse I needed. As a believer, no matter what I'm doing each day as long as I'm obedient and faithful to God, my work is valuable to him. He sets my path, as long as I work with all my heart and with faith, I know I'm fulfilling his purpose.