10, 2 and 4 Baby

10, 2 and 4 Baby

I have always been a night owl and hated going to bed. I think it is because I was afraid I would miss something. I remember my mom used  to call me her 10, 2 and 4 baby because I would wake up at 10pm, 2am and 4am. I think I finally wore my parents down because, by the time I got to be a teenager  my father made me a deal and told me that as long as I got up the first time he called me in the morning. I could stay up as long as I wanted at night. So as soon as I would hear my dad call my name in the morning I would jump up out of the bed as quickly as possible calling back to him “ I am up! I am up!” just so he would know that I was up,  and I wouldn’t have to go to bed early the next night.

 

I will never forget one night, as a teenager, my parents let me have one of my friends spend the night. About 2am we decided we were hungry so we started cooking. Of, course my parents had long been in the bed but I didn’t think they would mind. So, my friend and I looked in the refrigerator and discussed what were were going to have and we debated about eggs, but went with something else. I don’t remember what we decided, but whatever it was must’ve started smelling good, because my dad showed up from the other end of the house, in the kitchen half asleep and as he opened the door to the hallway that  separated the kitchen/family room from the rest of the house, he hollered out at us “ I am gonna break you from sucking eggs” and with that my friend and I looked at each other and said “ I thought we decided not to have eggs?” as we burst into laughter my dad turned around and went back to bed. I still believe to this day he must of been talking and walking in his sleep.

 

Of course, it was a weekend,  so I didn’t have to get up early the next day. But that didn’t stop me from making sure when my dad did call, I was right out of the bed as soon as I heard his voice the next Monday when it was time to go back to school.

 

All that got me thinking, Do you have your ear tuned in listening for your Heavenly Father’s voice? Are you looking for His return and ready to go as soon as He calls?  The bible tells us that Jesus will return one day to take us to heaven, but He will only be taking those who are looking and living for Him. The bible tells us in 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 ESV

“For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord.”

 

I don’t know about you,  but I want to always be ready to go when the Lord returns. I want to be listening for His voice. Just like I was listening for my father’s voice when I woke up every in the mornings. I wanted to be ready and not late because I knew if I missed it, there would be a consequence to pay. Just as there will be if we miss Jesus return.

 

But how do we make sure we won’t miss HIs return? Well, Romans 3:23  tells us that “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”It is as simple as A,B,C  Admit that you are a sinner, (Romans 10:9-10) Believe in Jesus Christ and Commit your life to Him. start, going to a bible believing church, start making Him a part of your everyday life, by talking to Him in prayer and letting Him talk to you through His word.

 

It is only when we know, Christ then we will know His voice. We can’t hear Him if we don’t know His voice. I knew my daddy’s voice and I listened for it. We need to listen for our Heavenly Father’s voice so not only when He calls us to heaven, but every day He talks to us too and has a plan for our life and that plan is more than give your life to Him and go to Heaven.

 

There is something He has planned for us everyday. He wants us to be a part of our everyday life and has a mission for us here on earth before He comes back. For some it is to love others that can’t be loved, for some it is to give more to help others, for others, it is to make a difference in someone else’s life. We won’t know what He has in store for us until we get to know Him and we can’t get to know Him until we surrender our lives to Him and choose to follow after Him.

 

See, I knew  my daddy I spent time with my daddy, and I did everything I could to please my daddy. So, the question is, do we do the same for our Heavenly Father, If you haven’t I highly suggest that you do because you don’t want to miss His voice when He calls you to come to heaven. I think you want your answer to Christ to be the same as mine to my dad “ I am up! I am up!”

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How To Get Committed!

How To Get Committed!

How To Get Committed

As long as I have been in ministry, which has pretty much been all my life
since I was raised in a preacher’s home, I have heard people say “This is my
church” or “I go to that church.” Yet, in some cases these people rarely,
if ever darken the door of the church building.

I have a friend who lives in the small Southeast Kansas town of about 1,300
people and she had the same issue happen the other day. See, the church she
has attended forever is struggling and is considering closing the doors.
When the officials that would help make that decision held a meeting with
the church body to consider what to do, lo and behold guess who showed
up?

Yep, it was people that hadn’t been to that church in years! During the
meeting they stated their reasons why the church should be kept open, and
vocalized their objection to even consider closing it!

See, for years I have watched (through my friend’s eyes) this church
struggle and flounder, barely hanging on. For most of those years it has
been her family that has held it together. The church was struggling to pay the bills and
praying for lost souls to come to church yet never able to reach the
full potential God had called this church to be. They were limited to what they could accomplish with a congregation of three or so people. Now my friend has felt the release to leave and go to another church and if her church dies, it dies.
You know the funny thing she told me about all those people who showed up
for the meeting to proclaim that this church needed to stay open, she told
me they didn’t show up for service the very next Sunday. These people
wanted to complain and wanted a service provided for them to call “theirs”
but they were unwilling to participate in making it happen.

This got me thinking………..
What if Christ was as faithful to us as we are to church?

The Bible talks to us about attending church, it says “not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the day approaching.” And you know what else the verse says before that? “And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good
works”. Hebrews 10:24-25

You know, in small towns I think I have noticed this more than ever, people
say, “this church” or “that church” is my church. Yet, in some cases they
don’t attend regularly nor do they go to another church. Calling a church “my church” is more than just the fact you have been there a few times, or that grandma attended there or your family helped build the church. No, to say “That is MY church” is saying you have made a commitment to that church. A true commitment to a church requires four things.

1. Commit to Your Church with Your Time. Commit that you are going to give your time each week to attend services, not just when you feel like it or on the days when the weather isn’t good for fishing. But commit you will be there when the doors are open.
Because what if God was only available to you as often as you felt like
going to church? Don’t you hate friends that only show up when they
want something? Imagine how frustrating it is for God who wants to give us
His best but yet we are unwilling to have a relationship with Him on an
everyday basis or go to His house as He’s asked us to do. Remember it is a fact that kids who grow up in homes that don’t attend church regularly grow up to be adults who don’t attend church regularly. This thing called living for Christ is more about a relationship and any relationship starts out by spending time with the one you want to build that relationship with, and I know you can spend time with God other then at church But you know what else you do in relationships? To keep any relationship going and strong you with someone you love you soon learn what they love and you desire to please them. Committing your time church pleases God.

2. Commit to Your Church with Your Talent.
Commit that you will give of your talents whether that is, cleaning toilets or baking in the bake sale. I know a lady who’s ministry was baking cinnamon rolls and going around town and sharing the love of Jesus by giving them away. I bet if you have lived in Kiowa County very long or knew a volunteer that helped rebuild Greensburg you know her too.
She simply looked around and saw what she had to give and gave her talent away to
others. What do you have? What can you do?

3.Commit to Your Church with Your Ministry Gifts.
Commit to use the gifts God has given you for His Glory. There are many gifts God has given us, the Bible talks about preaching and teaching, evangelism, etc…and don’t get me wrong we need all of those and the others that Eph 4:11 mentions too. You can volunteer to serve somewhere in the church even if it is only handing out the bulletin or coming in during the week and assuring there are tithing envelopes, pens, and pencils in the pews. Volunteer with the children’s ministry or rock a baby in the nursery. Just ask your pastor where you can serve, and after you pick him or her up off the floor because
someone volunteered without being asked, I am sure he can find something
that fits your gifts.

4. Commit to Your Church with Your Tithe.
God says that you are to take care of His bride and the church is His bride. When you say “this is my church” or ” I go to that church,” it means you are responsible for taking care of that church. In the Bible, tithe is defined as 1/10 of what we earn. See, when we realize that everything we have is God’s and all He has asked us to do is give back to His bride 10% of what He has given us it’s not so bad. It is like your neighbor going away and asking you to look after his wife, and he tells you “I will send you $1,000.00 a month if you will look after my wife by just giving her $100.00 of it each month I am gone.”What would you do? That whole $1,000.00 is your neighbor’s but yet he has
just said, give my bride 10% of that each month and I will keep sending you
the $1,000.00.

Tithing is simply acknowledging everything we have is His
and giving back what He has asked for, so His bride (the church) will be
taken care of. Well, perhaps you say “I don’t like that preacher” or “someone at that church didn’t wave at me when I waved at them so I am not giving that church
another dime.” Well let me first remind you that you aren’t giving the money
to the church or even the people in the church. The Bible says “Everything
we do should be as unto the Lord” Col 3:23. So when you tithe, you are giving to God not to man and the worst part about holding it back is that you are blatantly
defining what God has said in His word to do.

See it is unfortunate that as our smaller communities grow smaller, we are
losing more and more businesses, jobs, hospitals,schools and yes even
churches because I believe we have forgotten what it means to really belong
to something.

Let me encourage you today, either get behind and REALLY commit to the
church to which you claim to belong, or go find one to which you can commit. But don’t say “this is my church” or ” I go to that church” if you aren’t willing to be
committed. Just think what could have happened if the people who were
doing all the talking at my friend’s church put some real commitment with
all the “lip service” they were giving.

If you don’t have a church home let me encourage you to find one. I have to
say I have never seen a more faithful group of people than the church my
husband pastors. They have truly learned what “My Church” means. Those that
attend faithfully have adopted this commitment and truly know what it means
to belong.

I think all too often we forget that Christ gave himself for us. He was
beaten in front of the whole town and hung on a cross, naked in front of
all to see and some of us are not willing to lift a finger to help support
the local church, Because it “might not” be good enough or we are worried we will
be embarrassed. Many are trying to live down, or live up to the reputations we had as teenagers. In small towns we are all too often slow to forget and move on from the past. Whether it be our own reputations or someone else’s the fact that people can’t get past the past sometimes hinders many from moving on and growing in just what God has in store for them. I am so thankful God says, that when we ask forgiveness, our sins are cast as far as the east is from the west. Let’s not let the past hold us back from being and doing all that God wants us to be. Let us remember what Hebrews10:25 says “And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works.”

So what church are you going to be committed to this next Sunday? Wherever it is, don’t forget what real commitment is.

By
Alesa Lewis Miller
Pastor’s wife of Lighthouse Worship Center, Blogger and Mom of 3