Category Archives: Parting Words from The WORD

Parting Words From The WORD…Reach Out in Ministry and Receive

Laughing Jesus by Robert Wilson, Sr.

Laughing Jesus by Robert Wilson, Sr.

(Now, before you wonder if I’ve lost my mind and converted to a “prosperity Christianity,” please hear me out. This post is far from it.)

As Christians, one of our responsibilities is to reach out to others and minister in His Great Name. The concepts of ministry and outreach are repeated throughout His word. From Israel’s Old Testament patriarchs to the New Testament teachers, we receive the continuous message to be the hands and feet of Christ, shining His Light into this dark, dark world. We’re instructed to care for widows and children, feed the hungry, visit those in prison, and love the unlovable.

Reaching out is not simply a concept to consider, it’s a command to obey. Jesus Himself said we’re to not only love the Lord with all our being, but to love others as we love ourselves. Bottom line: Christ-followers MUST be in ministry through love and compassion.

On the surface, it’s easy to see the benefits of service. Through our efforts, the poor and rejected receive food, clothing, help, encouragement, and love…all in the Name of Christ. And we feel good when we do what we’re called to do.

But what about when it doesn’t feel good? What about those times when we want to walk away?

Perhaps that’s when the ministry is as much for our benefit as it is for theirs. Perhaps that’s when God plans to teach us something through our serving. Perhaps we’re the ones who need to learn new lessons.

If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast,but do not have love, I gain nothing. 1 Corinthians 13:3 (NIV)

So if the time comes when you’re ministering, but just not feeling it…maybe it’s time to ask God what He wants to teach you.

I pray God’s blessing on the work of your hands and your hearts,

Vonda

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Parting Words From The WORD…Is It Possible to Stop Telling Others?

Laughing Jesus by Robert Wilson, Sr.

Laughing Jesus by Robert Wilson, Sr.

Don’t you love reading His Word and finding something you’d never noticed–or at least never considered–before? In my reading a few years ago, I found a such a verse.

In Acts 4, Peter and John have been called before the Council by the priests, the captain of the Temple guard, and some Saducees because they were healing and preaching the resurrection of the dead. They were thrown in jail.

The next morning the leaders decided that in order to keep Peter and John from spreading their message, they would warn them not to speak to anyone in the name of Jesus again. And here’s where it gets exciting:

But Peter and John replied, “Do you think God wants us to obey you rather than him? We cannot stop telling about everything we have seen and heard.” Acts 4:19-20 NIV

“We cannot stop telling…”

What about me? What about you? Can we say that? Can we say that we can’t stop telling the Good News of Jesus?

I recently heard that we should have our testimony ready in a variety of forms, to be delivered at a moment’s notice. We should have a 30-second “elevator pitch” testimony, a 2-minute testimony, a longer one, and a fully-written, fleshed-out version.

After all, we have the Good News of the mercy, grace, and love of Jesus. We cannot stop telling everyone about it.

I pray God’s blessing on the work of your hands and your hearts,

Vonda

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Parting Words From THE WORD…Starting Again

Laughing Jesus by Robert Wilson, Sr.

Laughing Jesus by Robert Wilson, Sr.

 

How do you feel as we end this first half of January 2015? Did you accomplish what you had hoped? Maybe you’re like me and you can see progress, but also see the things that didn’t get done.

So what do we do now? As for me, I think I’ll simply toss anything that whispers of failure and rest in Him and His great mercy.

And then trust His plan for my life…again.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. Proverbs 3:5-6

I pray God’s blessing on the work of your hands and your hearts,

Vonda

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Welcome to 2015: Pie In the Sky Dreams or Real Goals?

Image courtesy of cuteimage/FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

Image courtesy of cuteimage/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Wow, can you believe it’s 2015 already?

It seems only a few years ago that we teens of the 60s were dancing to the lyrics of Zager and Evans’ futuristic, pie-in-the-sky song, In the Year 2525. When it released in 1969, it was pure sci-fi, frequently assumed to be the result of a drug-induced bad trip.

But today, as I read their prophetic words of babies coming from test tubes, mind-altering drugs, and technology ruling our lives, I realize the song carried more truth than we ever thought possible. And way ahead of schedule.

But this post isn’t created to generate a discussion about the 60s or the prophetic reality of Evans’ lyrics. Instead, my goal is for us to face the truth and determine our response to this question: Will we look forward to the future with a pie in the sky attitude, dreaming big, then sitting back in our office chairs to watch them come to fruition? Will we make a plan and then whine when things don’t go as planned? Or will we do the work, put in the hours, and take the training needed to see those goals accomplished?

Unmet Goals

I have to admit, for the past few years I’ve backed down from some of my goals. I’ve run into conflicts of time, opportunity, and responsibilities…and sulked in the corner of defeat. I’ve tried and failed and given up, always eager to point to the reasons I didn’t reach that goal–again.

But this year is different. Oh, I still have many responsibilities beyond writing and speaking–responsibilities beyond my control–but this time I’m committed to doing the work, putting in the hours, and taking the training needed to see those goals through. Please understand, that doesn’t mean I’m determining the outcome. After all, only God is in control. But this year, instead of giving up because my schedule was interrupted–again–I’m committing to simply picking up where I left off and moving forward, in whatever time frame God allows.

I’m accepting the fact that I can’t make anything happen. He’s the One in control of day. I’m only in control of my response to it.

Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.”Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.” James 4:13-15 NIV

So, would you join me? Would you stand beside me, raise your right hand, announce your goals, and then say, “I’ll do the work, put in the hours, and take the training needed…and then trust His will for my life.”

Lord willing, we will write that book, get that agent, finish that article, and see our goals achieved. But know this: Publication is not the be-all and end-all of writing. It’s only one of the MANY ways God can use us and our words for His glory.

 

 

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Parting Words From The WORD…What is Your God-Given Goal for 2015?

Laughing Jesus by Robert Wilson, Sr.

Laughing Jesus by Robert Wilson, Sr.

As we begin 2015 and consider what God would have us do in the next twelve months, let’s turn to God’s Word for His direction.

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. Colossians 2:2-3

Paul wrote his heart’s desire 2000 years ago, but his goal then should be our goal today. What will I–what will you–do to help others know Christ and be encouraged and united in love?

As always, but especially as we begin this new year’s journey together, I pray God’s blessing on the work of your hands and your hearts.

Vonda

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Parting Words From the WORD…Jesus is Born!

Christmas gifts FDP Feel ArtAs we celebrate the Gift of Christmas today, let’s remember Him as

…the Son

…the Sacrifice

…the Resurrected Savior

…the Almighty God.

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.  John 3:16

I pray God’s richest blessings as we celebrate the Gift and the Giver.

Vonda

(Image courtesy of FeelArt/FreeDigitalPhotos.net)

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Parting Words From The WORD…His Kingdom Will Never End

Girl baby feetHis reign was foretold 700 years before His birth.

“But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah,
though you are small among the clans of Judah,
out of you will come for me
one who will be ruler over Israel,
whose origins are from of old,
from ancient times.” Micah 5:2

And we still proclaim Him 2000 years after His death.

But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God. You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end.” Luke 1:30-33

His kingdom will never end.

I pray God’s blessings as we celebrate the Gift and the Giver,

Vonda

(Photo courtesy of ChristianPhotos.net)

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Parting Words From The WORD . . . A Baby Changed Everything

During the Christmas season, it has become my Christian Writer’s Den tradition to post this beautiful video and the life-giving words it proclaims. I’ve done it now for several years, and each time I hear it, I still get chills and my eyes fill with tears.

When Jesus was born, everything was changed.

I hope you’ll take a few minutes to watch the beautiful images from the film, The Nativity, and listen to the words of this powerful song sung by Faith Hill.

YouTube Preview Image

 

For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men. Luke 2:11-14 (KJV)

During this blessed Christmas season, I’m especially thankful a Baby changed everything for me. And He wants to change everything for you, too.

I was lost but now I’m found! Hallelujah!

Christmas blessings as we celebrate the Gift and the Giver,

Vonda

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Parting Words From The WORD…What Will We Do for the Powerless?

Image courtesy of ChristianPhotos.Net

Image courtesy of ChristianPhotos.Net

As the Thanksgiving season segues into the season of Christ’s birth, we have a lot to look forward to. Christmas dinners, presents under a beautiful tree, time with family and friends in the comfort of our warm homes and warm beds.

But what about the others? What about those who won’t have enough to eat, won’t receive a gift, and won’t have family or friends or a warm bed on Christmas Day?

The calendar tells us it’s time to get busy. It’s time to shop and bake and decorate. But for the homeless and poor, it’s simply a day like any other. Another day of looking for food and shelter. Another day of need.

The Psalmist, Asaph, writes of God presiding over the great Hall of Justice, admonishing the kings and judges to protect the powerless:

“Defend the cause of the weak and fatherless; maintain the rights of the poor and oppressed. Rescue the weak and needy; deliver them from the hand of the wicked.”  Psalm 82:3-4

We aren’t kings or judges, but we are God’s people, charged with the task of protecting the powerless. In today’s world that can mean volunteering in a soup kitchen, purchasing gifts for an Angel Tree child, or putting money in the Salvation Army bucket. Or perhaps you feel led to donate to lesser-known, but equally productive ministries such as those I believe in, 1040 Connections or The Master’s Mission. These organizations purchase income-producing animals, help build wells for clean water, and give out thousands of clothing items to the needy around the world.

So what will you do–what will I do–to make a difference in someone’s life this Christmas? Addressing the physical needs of the poor can lead to the opportunity to share the love of Christ with the powerless.

I pray God’s blessing on the work of your hands and your hearts,

Vonda

Image courtesy of ChristianPhotos.Net – Free High Resolution Photos for Christian Publications

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Parting Words From The WORD…

Laughing Jesus by Robert Wilson, Sr.

Laughing Jesus by Robert Wilson, Sr.

The words, “Be strong and courageous” are seen over and over in the Old Testament. God said it to Moses. Moses said it to Joshua. God said it to Joshua. Those are the stories we know and recognize about being strong and courageous.

But did you know that David said those very same words–and more–to his son, Solomon?

David also said to Solomon his son, “Be strong and courageous, and do the work. Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord God, my God, is with you. He will not fail you or forsake you until all the work for the service of the temple of the Lord is finished.
I Chronicles 28:20

In this situation, David was giving encouragement to Solomon about building the temple. He told him to be strong and courageous, just like God had told Moses and Joshua. But did you see what else David said?

David added the words, “…and do the work.”

He then goes on to say that God will not fail or forsake him until all the work is done on the temple. In other words, God will give him everything he needs to get the job done.

God has done that for you and me as well. He has given us the talent and the passion to be writers and speakers, and He will see it through until we complete our jobs.

Just as David said to Solomon, I believe God is saying to us today: Be strong…be courageous…and yes, do the work.

I pray God’s blessing on the work of your hands and your hearts,

Vonda

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