Write My Answer On A Billboard Large And Clear

~ I'll climb to the lookout tower and scan the horizon.
I'll wait to see what God says ~ Habakkuk 2:1-2
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May 19, 2012

A Living Sacrifice - The Choice is Ours and Ours Alone

Romans 12:1-6
The Message

Place Your Life Before God
 1-2  So here's what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don't become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You'll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.
 
3  I'm speaking to you out of deep gratitude for all that God has given me, and especially as I have responsibilities in relation to you. Living then, as every one of you does, in pure grace, it's important that you not misinterpret yourselves as people who are bringing this goodness to God. No, God brings it all to you. The only accurate way to understand ourselves is by what God is and by what he does for us, not by what we are and what we do for him.

4-6  In this way we are like the various parts of a human body. Each part gets its meaning from the body as a whole, not the other way around. The body we're talking about is Christ's body of chosen people. Each of us finds our meaning and function as a part of his body. But as a chopped-off finger or cut-off toe we wouldn't amount to much, would we? So since we find ourselves fashioned into all these excellently formed and marvelously functioning parts in Christ's body, let's just go ahead and be what we were made to be, without enviously or pridefully comparing ourselves with each other, or trying to be something we aren't.














The idea of volunteering kind of meshes with God’s heart, don't you think? He allows us the freedom to willingly – cheerfully – even reluctantly …. choose. He allows us the freedom...

To choose God or satan – Life or Death
To choose our life’s work or His
To choose to serve or be waited on
To choose to be a living sacrifice or a deadbeat
To choose to give or hoard our life away

The choice is ours.... and ours alone.

Volunteering within the church is a hot topic these days. Actually, I suppose it always has been :) My dad was a country pastor of not one but two churches at the same time - in all but two of his pastorates. He not only had double duty in his gifting, he was forced to work outside of the paid church position – to provide for his family. He was a pastor for 40+ years. Even in retirement - he still volunteered his time, his gifts – always cheerfully and without any expectations of being paid.

Yes, we, his family, were oftentimes – on the short end of His ‘call’. Yes, it was a growing-up process. Yes, The Holy Spirit had to guide me through that process. Over and over :) Yes, Dad was a workaholic - without boundaries. But on a side note, it was a common thread in all of his pastorates – to expect the pastor to be 'involved' in everything - including every meeting that was held. So my experience is probably on the extreme side. But still, I wouldn't trade my spiritual heritage. I am who I am largely because of my mom and dad's sacrifice unto the Lord.

As Shanda posted at ‘A Pause on the Path’ …there is a fine line between pastors and other paid church staff - serving beyond their given work week. Some are highly overworked. Others refuse to put in anymore time - past their paid position. There definitely needs to be a balance between work and service - even if one's work is outside the church. But whose responsibility is it to define that line? Shanda stated that she had a problem with those staff - particularly pastors - who refuse to volunteer any time past their position. I understand this desire for unity within the church. If others are expected to volunteer, why are paid staff exempt so to speak.  She was asking for input. I decided to do this follow-up post to express my point.

 VOLUNTEERING MUST SPRING FORTH FROM AN OVERFLOW OF THE HEART

Whether a pastor, a worship director, a secretary, a children's director, etc., none can be forced into 'extra' service or volunteering. Romans 12 - states it pretty plainly that we, as born again Christians, are a part of this one body of Christ – the Church. We are all called to work together to build His church. Individual gifts are given by Him to each one of us. We are encouraged to operate in our giftings to support the whole body and the community at large, and ultimately to glorify the Lord Jesus  - to bring honor to His name while sharing in His testimony.

Although we are called and by faith equipped ...we can't be forced to serve. None of us can - whether paid staff or not. We can't be forced to use our gifts within the church. We can't be forced to even seek to understand our giftings. By Christianity's very roots - we are free to choose - to serve or not to serve. 

If we choose to serve, I believe our gifts should decide where we are most suited to serve. That is the reason for  the gift - to serve God and others. But we can't be forced to serve or volunteer. It springs forth on its own - from a willing heart. It is about stepping out in faith - that's where the willing heart comes in. We just have to be willing. Faith will carry us the rest of the way. And we are all given a measure of faith.

If we choose not to serve, we miss out on the true JOY of living a transformed life through Christ.

Concerning pastors: Pastors in particular need balance. Most, who have a willing heart for God are over worked and some even under paid - as was the case with my dad and now my son-in-law, who is in his first pastorate. They do need to balance their position with spending time with their own family - the family that God has entrusted them with.  But the unwillingness of a pastor to adamantly not be involved in the health and well-being of his flock - because it is his day off or past his paid work day  - is a serious heart matter. Larger congregations that have multiple pastors with different gifting positions - are able to work around this issue.

Pastors are watchman and are held to a higher responsibility. Like it or not. My dad took this responsibility seriously. It weighed on his mind. It was not to be taken lightly.

"At the end of seven days the word of the Lord came to me: 17 “Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the house of Israel; so hear the word I speak and give them warning from me. 18 When I say to a wicked man, ‘You will surely die,’ and you do not warn him or speak out to dissuade him from his evil ways in order to save his life, that wicked man will die for his sin, and I will hold you accountable for his blood. 19 But if you do warn the wicked man and he does not turn from his wickedness or from his evil ways, he will die for his sin; but you will have saved yourself." Ezekiel 3:17-19  NIV
Pastors are Shepherds: The faithful shepherd was with his flock both day and night. He took his position seriously. He defended it, caused it to lie down in green pastures, and led it beside the still waters. ( Psalm 23:2) Without his care, the sheep would stray away. They would face real danger.

 "When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them because they were confused and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd." Matt 9:36 NLT

It does not bring honor to Him when a pastor or any of us who call ourselves followers of Christ, sit back and refuse to go the extra step or mile. Many of us are guilty of letting the same people do all the work. We've become lazy Christians. Our hearts aren't full to the brim with all of Him.

By definition, volunteering, whether within or outside the church, can’t be driven by expectations. ‘Expected’ and ‘Volunteer’ are not one in the same. It’s an oxymoron to put them together. And yet, Christ said that you will know them - by their fruit...
"Yes, just as you can identify a tree by its fruit, so you can identify people by their actions." Matt 7:20 NLT

"By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles?" Matt 7:16 NIV

VOLUNTEERING MUST SPRING FORTH FROM AN OVERFLOW OF THE HEART

Those who volunteer do so from an overflow of the heart. One can't be forced to volunteer from the heart. One may be forced to 'volunteer' as a requirement of some program or such that they have agreed to join. But for the most part, volunteering must be a personal thing. It must come from the heart - or it becomes a thorn in one's flesh so to speak.

Psalm 51:12 NIV  “Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.”
Paul said in 1 Corinthians 9:17 KJV “For if I do this thing willingly, I have a reward: but if against my will, a dispensation of the gospel is committed unto me.”

Christ instructs us and encourages us to live a sacrificial life in community with others ….as Romans 12 expounds upon. But He desires for us to live authentic lives in tandem with others – using the skills and gifts that He has given us to further the Gospel and to give back to Him in ways of service. Volunteering within these areas would be a useful way to honor God and lead by healthy example.

Scripture continues by saying that “All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right.” 2 Timothy 3:16 NLT

And again in Proverbs 4; 20-22 “My son, pay attention to what I say; listen closely to my words. Do not let them out of your sight, keep them within your heart; for they are life to those who find them and health to a man’s whole body."

So if we are in the Word and the Word gives Life, then our lives will willingly and cheerfully seek to serve Him in ways that we are gifted in. It is the fruit of a transformed life. Is it not?
Matthew Henry puts it this way… “Good work is likely to go on, when all concerned are hearty in furthering it. Let us hope in God's mercy; if we seek him, he will be found of us.”
May our lives be a shining example of living a life for Christ – an audience of ONE.

May He indeed be found in us !
CHOOSE this day whom you will serve .
"But if you refuse to serve the LORD, then choose today whom you will serve. Would you prefer the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates? Or will it be the gods of the Amorites in whose land you now live? But as for me and my family, we will serve the LORD." Joshua 24:15 NLT

 "LIFE IS A COLLECTION OF DECISIONS THAT DECIDE THE JOY YOU EXPERIENCE" ~ Dr Mike Murdock


His Warrior Bride
Patrina 




Other examples in scripture of a willing heart that cheerfully volunteers - to serve…

2 Chr 17:16 KJV "And next to him was Amasiah the son of Zichri, who willingly offered himself unto the LORD; and with him two hundred thousand mighty men of valor."

Judges 5:2 NIV "When the princes in Israel take the lead, when the people willingly offer themselves--praise the LORD!"

Judges 5:9 NIV "My heart is with Israel's princes, with the willing volunteers among the people. Praise the LORD!"

Psalms 110:3 NLT “When you go to war, your people will serve you willingly. You are arrayed in holy garments, and your strength will be renewed each day like the morning dew.”

1 Chronicles 29:9 NIV "The people rejoiced at the willing response of their leaders, for they had given freely and wholeheartedly to the LORD. David the king also rejoiced greatly."

I Chronicles 28:21 NLT “The various divisions of priests and Levites will serve in the Temple of God. Others with skills of every kind will volunteer, and the officials and the entire nation are at your command."

Exodus 36:2 NIV “Then Moses summoned Bezalel and Oholiab and every skilled person to whom the LORD had given ability and who was willing to come and do the work.”

1 Samuel 26:6 NLT "Who will volunteer to go in there with me?" David asked Ahimelech the Hittite and Abishai son of Zeruiah, Joab's brother. "I'll go with you," Abishai replied."

Proverbs 31:13 KJV “She seeketh wool, and flax, and worketh willingly with her hands”

31 comments:

  1. Thank you for expanding on this issue. I agree that it is totally a heart matter. I would have gone into more detail on my post but was afraid certain people at our church would read it. This post stems from certain people who see their work as pastors more of a job than a ministry. A job, you put in your hours and that is it. A true minister of God has to draw boundaries but their heart is always in the ministry and always with people They are willing to put in the extra hours if needed: a special event, a funeral, a sick member etc. We even had one Pastor who refused to help with our Thanksgiving outreach to the community because it was his 'day off'. You are right. it is all a heart matter.

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    1. And you are right as well. I loved how you said, "A true minister of God has to draw boundaries but their heart is always in the ministry and always with people." Absolutely! That is the defining difference...their Heart is always with the people. I love that. They see themselves as a vital part of the whole body.

      Thank you, Shanda for the opportunity to put my two cents in - and tag your post.

      Thanks for picking up the pencil. May we continue to serve the Lord with our written words.

      Blessings
      Patrina <")>><

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  2. Your words ring so true...We got to make the choices....and step out in faith. I found when I do....He takes my puny efforts and turns them into something so fun....so full of joy that nothing else matters. Wishing you a fabulous Sonshine filled day

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    1. Thanks for visiting, Nikki. Faith pushes us into uncharted territory, doesn't it? That's what faith is all about. We never no what we're capable of if we don't move out in faith. I'd be stuck inside myself, If i didn't have faith.

      We all have choices. Even not to choose something is actually choosing.

      We just have to have a willing heart and faith will carry us the rest of the way. That willing heart grows us in ways we could not grow otherwise.

      hugs to you
      Patrina <")>><

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  3. The most beautiful gift GOD gave to us is FREEWILL....it's all up to us..i CHOOSE to serve the Almighty sovereign GOD of Israel.
    A thought-provoking post Patrina...weldone ma'am.

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    1. Absolutely, Kareem! He wants a willing heart. A heart that freely chooses to serve Him. We just have to be willing - to surrender our lives. our fears, our weakness for His use - and He takes care of the rest. A servant's heart is a transformed heart - freely open to God's plan.

      Big hugs to you my dear
      Patrina <")>><

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  4. Everything is "balanced" when it comes to the Lord. There is no confusion but that is...if our hearts are truly in tuned with His. That's one thing I'm grateful for is that the Lord being fair, never forces us but allowed us to have that freedom to choose. If we are forced to love Him, or serve Him, then, that is not love. And that kind of love is not from Him.

    I always admire those who willingly serve, not because of great things they do, but because they always do things with unconditional love. We forget, worship does not mean singing only or praying...Our best worship is "working to become holy". Our bodies as living sacrifices. You have explained the issue very well. I pray we will always be willing and obedient to His leading. God bless.

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    1. You got it, rcubes, exactly what you said here. I love the last part ..."that kind of love IS NOT from Him."

      "If we are forced to love Him, or serve Him, then, that is not love. And that kind of love is not from Him."

      I also loved this part..."Our best worship is "working to become holy"."

      thank you rcubes for visiting and picking up the pencil. I love your input. It was a very hard post to write. After reading Shanda's post, I knew I had more to say. But trying to say it becomes very involved. I appreciate your kind words. Thank you

      nice to be in touch with you again

      Blessings
      Patrina <")>><

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  5. I loved this post - every last word of it! So much to share with you when we can catch up! God is amazing and faithful - full of compassion and mercy!

    Living in His fulness of JOY,
    Stephanie

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    1. Thank you TRUTH SHARER - glad you approve :) as I said in my reply to rcubes, it was a very hard post to write.

      Nice to see you too. Yes yes yes. the Lord is amazing and faithful - full of compassion and mercy. Yes indeed.

      Would love to catch up. I feel the JOY exuding from you. Keep shining for HIM.

      love to you
      Patrina <")>><

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  6. What a nurturing post.....as we are still changing and trying to get moved to our next spot, including a new church, along with our first church....we have been thinking on these things....so needed to hear this. It clears a few thoughts I have had for our next spot in life. The hard thing right now is getting unplugged from this old spot where our heart is no longer. It feels like we are being prevented from moving, but I keep telling the Lord how I trust His timing, that it must be His...as I won't give the glory to any other....so I am trying to relax and rest in his timing. I am anxious though I admit. But there is serving to be thought about in even the transition and with people you don't plan on or expect. So this post has calmed me further to wait in the Lord. I know He is in control.... I guess I just want to be sure of it, so I just say it is Him...no other. I am rambling, but HOW HEALING IS YOUR WRITING and this post!!! I love you in Jesus!!! I'll be back soon....writing myself I hope!! Hugs and BIG BLESSINGS to YOU!!! sherry

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    1. Sherry, I have missed your writing. I keep checking - hoping you have a new word for me :) When you post or comment here, I know more how to pray for you. I now know to pray for your transition from one church to the other as well as the new home and neighborhood etc.

      He is in control when we let Him. I know your heart will be in whatever He chooses for your to do. I think that is the KEY. He chooses where He thinks we are best suited to serve. He uses our service to grow us in area that we may not feel comfortable with just yet. sometimes, because we are not discerning our true gifts. I think sometimes, we serve in area that are comfortable because of our upbringing - our teachings - our learned ways of coping ect. But God has always had a plan for us - from the beginning. When we walk in His plan, it will always be a JOY to serve. Serving and volunteering will be just an automatic extension of the heart! I believe this with my whole heart.

      Jesus was a servant. He was our ultimate model. Oh to be like Jesus!

      thank you so much for your comment. for picking up the pencil. I sure hope that my words can bring healing to a troubled soul - for whatever reason. I receive so much enlightenment and healing form the words of others like you... that I want to give back... to serve others in the way that I have been served with the wisdom and understanding that the Lord has deposited into others.

      So, that said, don't stay away too much longer :) I sure miss you.

      I miss alot of my friends in blogland. I have been in such a transition myself for the past 6 months that I have not been faithful to post. I'm still faithful to write, but turning my personal journal-ling into a post - takes more time.

      I sure love you with the love of JESUS too. haha thankful that His love makes us loveable

      blessing and prayers
      patrina <")>><

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    2. Sherry,
      After re-reading my comment to you, I decided to clarify one word :)

      I said, "He chooses where He thinks we are best suited to serve."

      I am rightfully correcting that word 'THINKS'... to read 'KNOWS'.

      He KNOWS where our gifts are needed. He KNOWS exactly what we will gain if we allow Him to plant us where He needs us to grow.

      He knows our past - our future - and our present. He knows the gifts He's bestowed on us. He knows the PLAN - because it's always been His PLAN. He knows how to get us on the path that leads to our fulfilled JOY on this earthly journey.

      So when we surrender to His lead, the heart overflows with JOY and kindness. It is from this overflow that we give back to Him through heart-based serving and living.

      I'm certain you agree :)

      hugs
      Patrina <")>><

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  7. popped back to wish you a happy Friday. Hope it's full of Sonshine

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    1. greetings again Nikki :)always nice to see you

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  8. Blessing and increase to you Patrina. I do appreciate your visit and hope you've found your book from E.M. Bounds, on prayer. What a gem!

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    1. Robin, thanks for picking up the pencil. Since I am in transition - my books are not all available to me. But I sure hope that I still have my dad's copy. It was old. And of course, it shared a space among the many books that spread across a whole wall - on his study's bookshelves.

      blessisngs,
      patrina <")>><

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  9. One more comment after further reading. My son has been staff as a worship leader for over 10 years now. I've watched him spend countless hours doing WAY beyond his job, because of his heart for people. The problem is that so many churches are under staffed that the few they have who are willing get called on to do everything. It does bring imbalance and unnecessary burden. He is having to learn to create boundaries, the hard way. Being a young man placed in leadership at only 16 (he is now 27), when he wasn't really ready for it, was unwise by the church. Many leaders who fall away, do so from a lack of balance in their lives. WE need to be careful how much we demand from them. Sheep need to mature, so they can beget more mature sheep, and let the leaders have times of refreshing!

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    1. Robin,

      I appreciate you taking the time to read this long post, as well as picking up the pencil to share from your notebook of wisdom.

      Because it seems to be a consensus, according to these comments here and at Shanda's place, that balance is the KEY to healthy volunteering - inside or outside the church. BALANCE stems from knowing who you are - your gifts and your self assurance in God and with man.

      BOUNDARIES don't come easily for some. It is those who have a difficult time saying NO that are usually the overworked ones. Their heart is in the right place - they seek to please God - with all their heart. Saying NO sometimes feels selfish. Sometimes, we are afraid of judgement, or condemnation if we say NO.

      But having the self assurance of our position in Christ, helps us say No to the things that may be outside of our gifting - or beyond our available time - to devote ourselves to what someone may think we are suited for.

      It is spiritually, physically and mentally healthy for us to say NO when God says NO. Thus, we should always refrain from an instant YES - to anything outside of our paid employment duties - ( and even some of those call for counsel & direction) that is asked of us by anyone other than God (that includes the trinity - Jesus and the Holy Spirit) - because we often do not know ourselves as well as we would like to believe.

      God in His 'all knowing' knows when to say YES and when to say NO. I trust His answers. I may not always like His YES's and His NO's... but I have learned that when I take a matter to Him first...and I heed His voice...I am never left standing empty.

      He equips me with the necessary tools as well as the strength to accomplish what I know He has asked of me. It is in the 'knowing' that I am in agreement with His plan for my life... that JOY becomes the forefront of my service.

      The JOY of the Lord becomes the often needed strength to say YES and follow thru without becoming 'burned-out', depleted or discouraged.

      continued in the following reply...

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    2. It is true that church staff are sometimes forced into a loop - where they become a revolving door of service. They could turn and turn and turn as long as they keep moving. But I believe the responsibility of stopping that door - and getting out of that revolving scenario - remains with us! The choice is always ours.

      I would encourage your son to take a step of faith and step out of the revolving doorway... take a sabbatical from any other serving outside of his position as worship leader, and use the time that this frees up for him - to spend in 'one on one' intimacy with the Lord.

      All pastors need this as well. It refreshes the soul in ways that serving cannot.

      Our first love is Christ. If we can keep that in balance with the rest of our life - He will take care of the places that He asks us to serve. The asking - will come from Him - we will recognize His voice. We will recognize our gifts. We will be empowered to serve in the arena of our giftings. JOY will exude from the overflow of our spirit and spill out on those we are sent to serve.

      I cannot impress upon my readers enough - that when we are serving as a direct result of our relationship with Christ - in accordance with His will - His plan for our lives - within the boundaries of our spiritual giftings...

      God does empower and equip us to finish the race before us...with unending JOY.

      I know, I have written another post :) I hope that what I am sharing is not bringing harm to the body but rather health. I feel strongly about the members of our body - the body of Christ - not being overworked and over loaded under the umbrella of 'Christian service'.

      Everyone of us is responsible for our personal relationship with Christ. And if the body keeps us overloaded with service - it weakens the effectiveness of the whole body.

      One more thing ... when we don't exercise our right to say NO to those things that God has not said YES to ...we close that specific door for those special ones, that God has planned to grow - by their involvement in that very service - that we said YES to when God wanted us to say NO.

      Just saying....

      service goes a long way...if we are serving where God has asked us to serve.

      The choice is still ours.

      Blessings to you and your son, Robin. I will be praying with him on this matter. God sees his heart and He wants to grow him up strong in the LORD.

      It was never God's plan for one member to do all the work - in the body!

      prayerfully
      Patrina <")>><

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  10. Wonderful post, Patrina! Amen! One note...my DIL has the most willing and beautiful servants heart and was hired on staff as part time...With disappointment, I've watched as pastors have taken advantage of her willingness to serve and are requiring her time as if she was hired full time plus pile on every other thing that is needed. Unfortunately, way too often, those with a willing and servants heart are taken advantage of and burn out quickly....it saddens me greatly! The imbalance is sooo disappointing! And honestly, I don't know how they take such advantage with a clear conscious!

    Blessings!
    Jackie

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    1. Jackie,
      thank you for picking up the pencil to share about your DIL. I hear you. Many people are saying the same thing - feeling the same thing.

      as Robin said earlier in her comment ...

      "Sheep need to mature, so they can beget more mature sheep, and let the leaders have times of refreshing!"

      I like this. We are a body - a flock - that works together - yet we tend to remain pretty dumb sometimes. I think it is easier to play dumb than to grow up and mature. Maturity is a choice. Some refuse to grow up because with maturity comes responsibility.

      It is usually the mature ones that are delegated responsibility. Maturity demands responsibly. Once we no longer require milk - we move onto meat. God's plan for our lives is not to be fed milk forever. So its a given that those mature ones in the body of Christ - will be called upon over and over and over - because they are also -responsible.

      I remain solid on my stand that the choice is still ours - whether we are responsible or not - as to where and how often we choose to serve. But, as I stated in my comment to Robin, some mature and responsible ones have a hard time saying NO. It is in their make-up or their personality - or their up-bringing, etc.

      It is sometimes necessary, as you implied, that the leaders of the flock be more discerning in their delegation. A pastoral leader - has the responsibility to the spiritual health and well being of their flock.

      As I stated in the post - pastors are watchmen & shepherds - they are chosen to keep watch over their sheep. Over delegating - on their part - to the willing ones - is not being responsible for their flock. They must discern the Lord's will - His plan - His way. It is never God's plan that any of us be over committed - anywhere!

      So Balance must also be taught by those responsible leaders that are chosen to lead. If a leader sees it as OK to over laden some with the enormous work yet to be done...the rest of the lazy or immature flock will not be encouraged to step up to the call to serve.

      I just think we are missing a vital part of our relationship with Christ - when we sit back and let others do all the work within the body.

      We tend to walk lop-sided when one side is strong and the other is weak!

      As with Robin's son, I too will be praying for your DIL. Oh I pray that she and he - find a 'coming away' - time - with the Lord - to allow Him to refill them and help them discern His perfect plan for them within the body.

      This is my prayer for us all. Yes, that includes me. May we stop what we are doing long enough to - ask of the Lord - His will, and look for His path.

      Many members of our body are becoming so consumed with the 'doing' that they miss the 'being' with God...one on one with Him. We must all step up to the batter's box and take our turn at the bat. We are all on the same team, are we not?

      When we stop long enough to discern whether or not He is in favor of our continued service, in some specific area, we will hear His answer.

      if He says NO...

      Then STOP what you are doing ...Just say NO... "God is not asking this of me"...and see if the body falls apart :) strong words...but it is written ....

      "Unless the LORD builds a house, the work of the builders is wasted." Psalm 127:1 NLT

      Although this scripture pertains to any house, or the house of God , or family... it indicates a universal dependence on God in human undertakings ... all undertakings - not just service.

      Let us not forget - God must be the #1 variable in all that we do or attempt to do. It is all for His Glory anyway.


      I appreciate all these great heart to heart comments. Thank you Jackie for taking the time to respond.

      Blessings to you and your family
      praying for your DIL

      prayerfully
      Patrina <")>><

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  11. ah this was so good Patrina. So many valid and valuable points. One thing always strike me both in full time ministry and the ministry we are all called to, in or out of the church, and that is... balance. I've seen church people 'overuse' ministers so often, with expectations way beyond what anyone could do... and I've seen the other extreme, the church members and loving workers being handed by the staff anything they are capable or willing to do, and more. God wants balance in all of it, and thankfully He sees the heart of every one of us and the intent.

    I appreciate the words from your heart. I know it gets personal sometimes, but it is so helpful to share our own experiences too, for someone else who may need to hear those words.

    There is a world of difference between duty and genuine serving. I'm convinced that serving is from the heart and blesses the one doing it, it's an act and attitude of worship and thanks to the God who gave everything for us.

    I loved this post!

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    1. Sonja dear,
      Thank you also for picking up the pencil. You and I being from 'pastor's families'... have most definitely seen the EXTREMES. There is always two sides to any equation. We've experienced them both - more than we care to remember.

      I appreciated your response as tot he theme of the post and the comments here... BALANCE is the major KEY. You stated...

      "God wants balance in all of it, and thankfully He sees the heart of every one of us and the intent."

      Absolutely. From the pastor all the way down. Balance must be taught early. We mature ones (I say this candidly - I desire so much more than just milk these days :) have a responsibility to lead by example - to demonstrate this balance in everything we do -

      Whether its eating, sleeping, playing, working, worshiping, assembling together in fellowship, studying God's word, participating in service to others, teaching, or encouraging .. etc.

      The list is exhaustive. But BALANCE must be incorporated in everything we do. God helps us stay balanced. For me, the key - is to meet with Him at the beginning of the day - with my heart and ears open - asking Him to guide my steps today ...and then ask of Him at the ending of the day..."did I accomplish your will today, Lord?"

      What we hear...will change, rearrange - and mature our walk with HIM.

      These two daily steps - will go a long way to keeping our lives in BALANCE.

      I appreciated your words... and I end with them :)

      "There is a world of difference between duty and genuine serving."

      AGREED!

      Blessings to you Sonja
      Patrina <")>><

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  12. Wonderful post. All about trusting and stepping out. Thank you dear for sharing. Blessings.

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    Replies
    1. JBR thanks for visiting and picking up the pencil.

      Blessings
      Patrina <")>><

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  13. Hi Patrina -

    Thank you!

    You said bunches that is meaningful here. Yes, it is so vitally necessary to seek our Lord for balance. He alone knows our limits.

    We are mandated by the Word of GOD to love, and to bear one another's burdens. May we remain mindful of the essential need to give....

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    Replies
    1. Sandra,

      Thanks for visiting and picking up the pencil to share your thots on the matter. I liked your statement, "He alone knows our limits." TRUE. We may think we know our selves... but there is always more to enlighten us. We will never know our capabilities until we walk the walk with Him.

      Blessings to you.
      patrina <")>><

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  14. This is a well written and well thought out post. I agree with what you have written and even the responses from your readers are worth reading. Ministry belongs to God alone, and we are privileged and honored when He invites us to join Him in what He is doing. Thus, I believe that many pastors who are underpaid still choose to go beyond the call of "duty" because they see the work in the vineyard and the harvest field, but the laborers are so few.

    This attitude of servanthood and humility is what spells the difference between a hireling and a pastor with a true shepherd's heart.

    Thank you for sharing your heart on this post. It is sad that many pf the church staff who have a genuine call from God end up burned out for being taken advantage of. This is what Satan wants to do, to render God's army immobile and dissipated by overwork.

    However, this can be remedied n a Godly way iif church staff really understood that only what God has assigned needs to be done... then the yoke is easy and the burden is light.

    Blessings,
    Lidia

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    Replies
    1. Lidia,

      Yes, indeed, 'the laborers are few'.. just as scripture tells us in Luke 10:2 and Mat 9:37.

      "He told them, "The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field." Luke 10:2 NIV

      You make a good point. Jesus knew that few would walk the walk and talk the talk - to go beyond their comfortable walls - to serve others. So, this delima in the body is nothing new to Him. He knows us so well.

      I loved your solution driven input..

      "this can be remedied in a Godly way if church staff really understood that only what God has assigned needs to be done... then the yoke is easy and the burden is light."

      Awesome way to end this post!

      Thank you so much for visiting and for picking up the pencil to share your heart of wisdom.


      hugs, Lidia
      Patrina <")>><

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  15. This has been a good 'round table' discussion. I appreciate all of you who came to visit - and for your courage to speak your heart on this issue.

    I invite those who still have something to share about 'service unto the Lord', to pick up the pencil and share your thots.

    May He find us FAITHFUL - to the end!

    Blessings to you all
    Patrina <")>><

    ReplyDelete

Thanks for picking up the pencil...

May the grace
of the Lord Jesus Christ,
and the love of God,
and the fellowship
of the Holy Spirit ...
be with you all.


Patrina
His Warrior Bride in Boots

"HEAR The Word of The Lord"

Prayer Changes Things

“Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” ..... Romans 12:12

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Elohim: The All-Powerful Creator

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Adonai: The Owner of All

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El Shaddai: The Almighty Sufficient One

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