Christian Friends – What Is Our Motivation?

I’ve been thinking so much lately about why we take up the positions we do. We say we do it out of love for our fellow man but do we need to spend some time pondering if that is really true?

“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Matthew 22:37-39

When we say we want immigrants to be welcomed into our country, are we truly saying it because we have the desire to see them loved into the Kingdom of God? Do we spend more time
in anguish over the persecuted church than we do for the persecuted worldwide? If we love God with our whole hearts and love our neighbors as ourselves, doesn’t it stand to reason we should desire for all to know Him as we know Him? Are we spending time in prayer not only asking God to cover them with His protective hand, but also to provide safe places once they are in our country to learn about Him and come to know Him as the beautiful Savior they have never even heard about?

Or are we mostly reacting to an administration that is making us angry?

When we say we should be taking care of veterans and the homeless in our country, are we truly interested in their plight? So many of these men and women feel nothing but hopelessness. Do we pray for them to have someone come alongside them and love them into the Kingdom of God? Do we feel the call to do something for them ourselves? Have we ever called a shelter and asked what tangible thing we can do?

Or are we mostly just reacting in angry opposition to the immigration situation?

When we say we are pro-life and pro-woman, are we truly concerned about the whole situation surrounding a woman’s circumstances, including loving her and her child into the Kingdom of God? Again, shouldn’t we desire her to know Him as we know Him? Are we praying for each woman in a crisis pregnancy situation to come to a full revelation of God’s love for her and her child? Are we praying for loving support and mentors to walk with her along her journey? Are we considering how we may be of service to those women ourselves?

Or are we mostly just angry at Planned Parenthood?

Of course, we can’t be all things to all people. But there is always something we can do to be of service to God’s Kingdom in our own little corner of the world. Whether we have time or means to offer our physical services or financial support, how much time do we spend in prayer for the persecuted and the hurting? How much time do we spend visualizing individuals that Christ loves and desires relationship with rather than simply people groups? How much time do we truly spend loving as Christ loves us?

“For what we proclaim is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, with ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. For God, who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness,’ has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.” II Corinthians 4:5-6

Admittedly, the main reason this has been on my mind so much lately is that I am asking myself these same questions.

Why exactly am I supporting the causes I feel drawn to support? Is it reactionary anger? Or is it Christ’s love within me?

Am I spending time in intercessory prayer for our hurting world? Or am I plotting my next social media meme in my head (because I would never actually post it)?

One of my favorite songs for many years has been Touch Through Me. I loved hearing a friend sing it in church several times back when I was young and it has stayed with me throughout the years. It speaks to my soul every time I hum it because nobody wants to hear me sing.
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Touch through me, Holy Spirit, touch through me,
Let my hands reach out to others, touch through me;
There’s a lonely soul somewhere needing just one friend to care,
Touch through me, Holy Spirit, touch through me.

Love through me, Holy Spirit, love through me,
I will be my brother’s keeper, love through me;
Hearts are bleeding deep inside, love can dry the weeping eye,
Love through me, Holy Spirit, love through me.

Flow through me, Holy Spirit, flow through me,
Like a river in the desert, flow through me;
Springing power and healing strength, living water pure and clean,
Flow through me, Holy Spirit, flow through me.

My hands will be your hands reaching out to others,
My lips will not be slothful, Lord, to speak;
I will be that good Samaritan to someone else in need,
I will be your house to dwell in, live through me.

Flow through me, Holy Spirit, flow through me,
Holy Spirit, touch through me,
Holy Spirit, touch through me.

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God has given us all hands ~ hands to serve. Let’s use them to serve Him well.

We ALL Have Hands To Serve

The name of my blog is My Hands To Serve. My purpose for this blog is to encourage all of us, myself included, to look for opportunities to be of service to those who cross our paths, whether on a daily basis as with our families, as a specific ministry we devote regular time to, or periodically as we simply go about our lives and come across those who may need to see and hear about the hope we have through Jesus.

I have not been terribly consistent with that focus due to various reasons, namely that I just have not spent as much time blogging as I would like and also due to not really knowing the full extent of my own calling for service and being a little embarrassed about it seeing as I am too old to be this ignorant.

I have read 2 different books in the past week that highlight different avenues regarding service toward others.

The first book was Falling Free by Shannan Martin. I loved the author’s humorous and passionate writing style. Her admissions of faults and weaknesses were refreshing to someone like me who enjoys knowing I am not alone in the faults and weaknesses department. It was not so much a teaching tool, but more a book about how her family does life. However, I spent a good portion of my time reading it feeling terribly guilty that I am not doing more. I mean, they adopted children of various races, they lost high-paying jobs and moved from their dream farmhouse to a smaller home in the city, hubby became a jail chaplain, they have taken in various teens who needed a place to stay, they do life with those that would be considered outcasts, and a whole host of exhausting activities that would send me straight to a quiet corner that I would never want to leave.

The second book was Listen, Love, Repeat: Other-Centered Living in a Self-Centered World by Karen Ehman. This book was written in a more upbeat and straight-forward teaching style by a woman who is an admitted extrovert and social butterfly and whose spiritual gifts are encouragement and hospitality. It was a perfectly wonderful book and I can see where it would be a beautiful inspiration to someone who lives to light up a room with cookies, casseroles, gifts, and the presence of Jesus. I am not that person and have to admit that, with my personality, I was even more intimidated by this book than the first one. I am positive it was not either author’s intention to intimidate anyone and I take sole responsibility for my own reactions.

Two of my favorite writers are Kristen Welch and Ann Voskamp.

Kristen was just a regular mom and blogger who went on a mission trip with Compassion International a few years ago to blog her experience and came back to the states with her life forever wrecked by what she saw. She founded The Mercy House, a maternity home for young pregnant girls who have been rescued from poverty and hopelessness in Kenya, and she now also oversees other ministries as well, helping impoverished women around the world gain dignity and know their worth by starting small businesses to support their families. As if that’s not enough, she has also recently opened a physical store in south Texas selling many of those hand-made items from around the world to continue to help support and give hope to women who are learning daily about our wonderful God.

Ann went on that same mission trip with Compassion International and has worked since that time in various capacities with Kristen for The Mercy House as well as in her own life adopting a sweet daughter from China and sponsoring an immigrant family to begin a new life in Canada where she lives. She rocks my world every day with her poetic writing style and uncanny ability to speak right into my soul with her words. I am sure there are many more contributions that both of these women have made to God’s Kingdom than I even know to write about.

Talk about feeling small and insignificant out here in the backwoods of rural Oklahoma where I live my regular life and fall into bed exhausted at night because I work 2 part-time jobs.

My purpose for highlighting these 4 inspirational, yet very different women, is to try and convince myself that it is okay for my calling to service to look different than their callings. They are all doing wonderful things to further the Kingdom of God on this earth. But they are all doing very different things according to their own specific God-given talents and giftings.

Right this very second, I need to get up from this laptop and go make supper. I don’t want to. Cooking is not my spiritual gift. I would rather sit here and write, even though it has already taken me approximately 2 hours to get this far on this post. I am not a speedy writer nor a profound one. But I do enjoy it and, although it has taken me a while to get this far, I am excited that this post is beginning to take shape and to see what it has become since I really had very little idea what it would look like when I sat down and stared at a blank screen 2 hours ago. The thrill of a blog post that begins as a mere idea and morphs into over 1,000 words in a span of a couple of hours or so exhilarates me.

However, believe it or not, while I don’t enjoy cooking, in the past I have enjoyed working in our local soup kitchen during our church’s rotation every few months. Prep work, ladling soup, handing out sandwiches, filling cups with ice and tea and water, cutting cake. I can do all those things and enjoy them. But please don’t put me in charge of making sure the soup tastes good. I can’t handle the pressure. And neither will I be the one floating around the room engaging the folks in conversation unless I have time for a 3-day nap and solitude for the rest of the week. Rather, I will be the one behind the dessert table handing out cookies and making a mental note of facial expressions while I ask God to give me a heart for intercession.

In all the reading I have done this week, there was one chapter in one of the books that perked me up just a little bit. It was in the book written by the beautiful woman with the hospitality gifting and it was the chapter about The Sick at Heart. What a chapter to have perk you up. It says something about me and my melancholy temperament, for sure. But it helped me realize a little better that, with my own life experiences and my God-given temperament and my love for all things psychology, I do empathize well. Couple that with my enjoyment for writing, and I am now praying for God to open my eyes to see those who may need an encouraging word sent to them via, get this, snail mail. I may be putting myself out there prematurely and if so, I will have to backtrack at some point and admit that maybe I jumped ahead of God for the sake of a blog post. But time will tell. God knows how to back me up and start me over and I plan to be as pliable as I know how to be in allowing Him to do that.

What a lot of words I have written here without much of a point except to try and encourage everyone who reads this post to accept themselves for who God created them to be and to be willing vessels of service through which He can do His Kingdom work here on this earth and show Himself, through us, to all who need to know Him.

 

God has given us all hands ~ hands to serve. Let’s use them to serve Him well.