Our Lord cares about how you respond. While what happens to you is not always within your power to control, your response is always within your power. Why does Father care so much about your response?
It’s an opportunity for faith, which pleases God.
I hope I can learn this well and deeply, it will change my life and I believe it can change yours. And this lesson is being brought to me these days in multiple ways, and I would be foolish not to learn.
Worship is our key response. Which opens doors to so much else.
I got sick: this is a call to worship my Healer.
I had financial pressures: this is a call to worship my Provider.
I have a family member who is under tremendous pressures: this is a call to worship my Creator.
(My special thanks to Amanda Rankin who teaches such things as this and who provides timely, needed and loving reminders. May everyone be blessed to have a good friend like she is.)
See the pattern? Problems are literally a call to worship the One who provides help and everything that we need.
You could simply ask for help. Worship as a first response is better; not only is such worship an implied request, it has side effects on you: greater faith. Puts our Lord highest, instead of making idols in your heart out of what you desire.
Putting righteousness and the Kingdom first, all of these other things are added to you.
And…asking for help after you have worshipped connects you better to the One who Helps. Puts the King first instead of your need. Allows and assists you to receive help better from your Helper.
You have a calling. God has called you to be and to do. You’re calling does not go away, God does not change his mind about such things. This makes it easier to notice you’re calling, because there is a pattern in your life that can be seen. Making your calling easier to notice, perceive, and discover things about.
What do I mean, discovering things about your calling? You are called to serve and to minister to certain people, certain kinds of people. And those people are generally called to receive well from and through you. What this means is that you do better when you serve and minister to such people: they are more receptive and eager, you are more gifted and skilled. Much less frustrating than ministering to those to whom you are not called.
Have you ever noticed how some people seem to make you “dumber” than you are? I’ll bet you have; we all have. This is something that happens to all of us.
Other people bring out the best in you, help you to be better and smarter and more effective than is usual for you. These are people you are gifted for, and people who are gifted to receive from. People you are called to, and people who are called to receive from you.
It’s important that you discover who such people are, what kinds of people these are in your life. So you can recognize them and search them out. So you can serve and minister to them on purpose. So you can discover and learn how you are called to serve and minister to them.
Because God called you to this.
Because you’ll be more successful when you respond well to your calling.
Because these people-groups and individuals will receive through you what God has called you to do for them. Such people hunger and need what you can offer to them.
It is a joy to serve such people. To succeed more effectively and more often. To be received eagerly and well by these people.
It is a *joy* to serve and to do what God has called you to be and to do.
So pray, remember things that have happened. Ruminate. Meditate. And discover more about how and to whom you have been called and created for in unique and wonderful ways. To serve.
It is a joy to be your best self. It is fun. It is wondrous and you will learn much as you serve.
Discover and learn about your calling, who you are called to serve, and how you are to serve them. Even where you are called to serve them.
Ask God to help you understand and respond well to your calling, he knows and knows well – he’s the one who called you!
Since God has called you, respond, and respond well. Be and do who and what you were *literally* created and made for.
And rejoice! Rejoice in our Lord. And follow – follow how you are called – and be filled with joy and wonder, rather than with frustration and pointlessness. This is a much better way to live, and too few do this. Too many suffer needlessly, not doing these things.
This *is* an amazing and wonderful way to be living! Do this – discover, learn and explore. You may have to experiment to discover such things – do so. It’s okay! And expect and be alert for clues and hints from Holy Spirit as you do so.
Who are you called to be? What are you called to do? With and for whom?
Be filled with so much joy you have to rejoice out loud. Rejoice!
I used to call the cat, even when the cat was far away. Even when I could not see the cat. This was not a dog that loves to come when called…this was a cat.
Gradually I noticed something peculiar, odd, strange…and wonderful. I usually knew when the cat was coming. Shadow was his name. He was nearly all black. I would see him running through the field, coming. I knew when I had connected with him, and I knew when he was coming. Even when I could not see him. Sometimes I felt no connection, and Shadow did not come at such times.
Then I experimented, and I am not sure why I did – but as I experimented, something even more strange and wonderful happened.
I did not call the cat out loud, I just called for Shadow to come, mentally. And to my amazement and delight, I still knew when we connected and when we did not. Most of the time we connected, and he would come running. Other times, nothing happened.
I remember wondering what was happening when we did not connect. Was he busy? Preoccupied? Purposely choosing to ignore my call? I still do not know, I have no idea. And sometimes I still wonder.
I learned that I could call Shadow with an intention to call, and I would know when we connected and when we did not. And when we connected, which was most of the time, he would come running.
So I experimented some more. I called things that were not as though they were. When the electrical power went out, I would call for it to come back on. I called for circumstances to change. And here is the odd and surprising and wonderful response – I called, and they would come. But only when I *really* meant it, wanted deeply, and when I was single minded in my intentions.
An intention to call something that was not as though it was would work, and mighty quick. Power would come on in a second and a half or so. But not until my wanting was thorough, deep and profound. Not until I was deeply sincere about it. And single minded.
I need to explore this and experiment and see what happens when calling by intention. I need to learn more about this.
I invite you to explore and experiment, too. Call whatever you want. Deeply want. When you are sincere and ready and determined to have what you are calling come to you.
I wonder how you will do this? How you will explore? What you will learn on the way? I hope you will share your discoveries with me. I deeply want to learn more about this. Do you?
My dogs are a sign of God’s love and constant attentiveness, given by our Lord. They are like footprints left behind for me to notice and appreciate.
Usually they teach me about – and show something of – how God loves. Unconditionally. Constantly. Generously. Without judgement.
Today my most non-verbal dog (a Doberman) came while I was reading and reflecting about the other end of this – a sign of how I am to be open and receptive to being loved with great tenderness, gentleness, constant attentiveness given and receiving all of this well.
And now I know my dogs are also a sign of and a demonstration of some of God’s love, and how to receive and soak in and appreciate God’s love.
How generous, kind and loving God is to leave me such signs of him, such examples and teachers. I am filled with wonder, amazement, deep appreciation and gratefulness.
I think I will stop writing now, and just soak in this and reflect and receive being this way…I have nothing else and nothing better to be doing. Thank you, Lord!
How do you start a small business successfully, minister successfully when the unexpected happens, adapt to changes in the classroom or with a family member – and deal with other situations no one can figure out in advance?
(I know small businesses are told to use linear business plans like large businesses, and this works out well only in certain instances. That’s another story.)
You improvise. Or follow Holy Spirit. Or best of all, do both!
How do you give a prophecy? Often, by opening your mouth and starting. Follow Holy Spirit.
How do you follow Holy Spirit?
One or two steps at a time. Discover, then walk more. Like moving in the dark with a candle.
In a non-linear way. You cannot figure it out in advance.
God loves to give us wonderful surprises!
God seems to make it up for you as you go along.
How do you Improvise? Here’s a start:
Agree. Don’t say, “No”. Don’t block what is going on.
Do something new, add to the action.
Don’t ask open ended questions.
Focus on the hear and now.
Establish where you are.
Be specific and add details.
Do something different – change!
Make it up as you go along, following in flow with your partner.
Make it up as you go alone. Pay attention and add something specific and clear. Focus on the here and now, being where you are. Be specific. Add something different!
You cannot work for linear plans to do improvisation. They just won’t work. Respond to what is in front of you, one step at a time. You cannot figure it out in advance.
Notice the similarity?
When following Holy Spirit, learn about and then forget the “rules” of improvisation. See how it goes, what you can learn, how you can do even better next time.
Keep learning. Keep growing. Keep listening and paying attention. Act on what you are learning, seeing and hearing.
Jesus had a pattern for making disciples. We can see some of it in Scriptures, and we can make educated guesses to fill in some details. How he taught was common to Hebrew teachers, rabbi’s, in those days.
I’ve spoken with seasoned disciple makers and missionaries who’ve done this, and they helped me get an even better practical picture.
The basic pattern is simple: show, tell, and do. Probably even explain, show, discuss. Repeat until they are ready to do.
The pattern is not classroom instruction, reading about or learning about things. It’s being shown, discussion before and after. It’s learning to do what you do. With an explanation. It is not learning about things. Theory isn’t nearly enough.
It might have worked something along these lines:
First, discuss what you will do, what they will see, especially so they know what to look for, what is significant.
Demonstrate in front of them, so they can see.
Third, discuss how it went. How it was as you’d hoped and expected, things that were different. Issues and complications, if any; and especially how it went well.
Let them ask questions as part of this discussion. Answer.
Maybe show them several times. Is often a good idea, especially with something new.
Send them out to go do as you did.
Have them report back to you. Let them ask questions. Make comments so they learn even more. (If they rejoice that even demons do as they command, give them the perspective that yes, this is good, and that it is even more important that their names are written in heaven – for instance.)
Send them out again.
Repeat this cycle until all are satisfied that good learning has taken place.
Disciple making is demonstration with explanation. Then they demonstrate, and ask questions, and you give additional perspective as is useful.
Disciple making is not a classroom activity. It is not talking about things. It’s being shown and then doing as shown. With explanations as is useful.
Train disciples in how to make disciples. They will demonstrate. Disciples multiply by themselves, making disciples.
Disciples normally go out and minister in pairs. Ministry is normally in pairs. Always minister in pairs when you can. The more senior is making a disciple of the less experienced person. The less senior person assists and helps the more senior. This gives them something useful to do and provides practical help.
Grab someone out of a crowd who is watching, if you have no one else. Let them assist you and pray for you while you minister. Help them learn and discuss what happened. Not just ministering, always teaching.
A prayer support group is even more helpful. Set one up. If nothing else, find local people who are sympathetic and ask for their prayer support.
Prayer support is primarily for the minister, so they are more inspired and do well. They will do better. The people praying will pay more attention as they are invested, and they will learn more. Prayer is not primarily for the person being ministered to, as tempting as this may be. It could be helpful, but not nearly as helpful as praying for the person ministering.
Go, and make disciples. Make mistakes. Admit them and discuss them, so everyone can learn from them: we learn a lot through mistakes. Share the learning, and do not hold back such a wonderful opportunity. And of course celebrate what goes well!
This is the pattern that Jesus used. Go, and do the same.
Why does joy come so easily in the morning? Because it’s a fresh day, a fresh start. New discoveries are waiting to be made.
In Christian gatherings, new discoveries are made from time to time. New to the people who are present. Then the discoveries are explored.
This is a time of increasing attendance, with more people eager to learn what’s next. To explore and practice what is being learned about.
The Jesus Movement, re-discovery of Holy Spirit, practicing Spiritual Gifts, growing in the use and application of Spiritual Gifts. Prophecy that encourages and edifies and speaks with the passion of a full heart holding back nothing. There have been many more, and thee will be yet more, I promise.
Each individual can go through such cycles. Entire groups can experience such cycles together.
After a while, what was new to you becomes taken for granted – in a healthy way, it’s becoming a part of your life, now.
You may even become a bit bored. Try not to get stuck or bitter because learning is going so well and freshness is waning.
Not to worry. God has you covered. New discoveries are coming again.
The cycle is always refreshing itself, the cycle of discovery and learning goes on…for eternity!
You get to know who God is more and better. You get to learn your own identity more deeply and in new ways. You get to exercise and learn new gifts, grow more familiar gifts into greater maturity and skill.
Learning and discovery cycles go on…they come, and the newness seems to go. Another one is coming soon. I wonder what this one will be like?