There is just nothing like love....love of true family - love of brothers and sisters in Christ with one common heart to serve the King, uniting and serving together.
We had a blessed time at Morning Glory Apartments yesterday. We sang CHRISTmas carols and gave food boxes and homemade gift baskets. (Special thanks to Bull City Outreach Ministries for providing the boxes below for our ministry.)
We hugged the necks of residents, praised the
name of Jesus, laid hands on and prayed for a resident recovering from
surgery, and even had a Word from the Lord spoken over a few of us.
We gave out our ministry cards with our contact numbers and extended ourselves to be of service to these wonderful folks. We were even able to make a near-future appointment to help one of the residents clean her house. Ms. Dorothy is in her 80s, has to use a walker to get around, and just needs a helping hand with a simple task.....a task that I take for granted on a daily basis.
After our outreach, we came home and had a ministry, Christmas, fellowshiping night - with pizza, preaching and prayer. Wow.....does it even get any better??
Dean and I had a conversation recently with someone about joy.....and how sometimes life gets us so entangled, bogged down, exhausted, anxious.....and we literally seem to lose our joy. And that even in prayer and Bible reading regularly we can still feel like we are void of joy.
I've been there.
I know you may have been there too.
But Dean spoke a true word into our conversation that day that.....and that is, we can have our true joy, the Joy of the Lord, when we are walking in the Spirit in service and love - when we are sharing with others what He has done for us. We are made complete and full when we are doing what He made us for....and that's sharing Him.
This may be a little cliche, but this deep yearning is real in my heart right now:
I just want to live and breathe and walk and talk the Lord God Almighty....
to breathe in His Spirit
to speak His Words
to be His Hands and Feet
to get lost in the Presence of His Glory each day.
Prices must be paid to have this sort of intimacy. More of the flesh and the self has to die. Things must be given up. This world must be just a fleeting thought. Popularity and materialism must go out the window.
And that's scary to me.....it's scary to all of us. Some days I feel like a failure and I don't think I'll ever get there. I worry that people will always only see the "old Melissa" - the Melissa of 10 years ago, the Melissa of 5 years ago, the Melissa of 1 year ago, the Melissa of last week.....
But the more of the Word that I read and study, the more I can't deny that THIS is what Jesus is really calling us to....so I put my hope in this:
"being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ" Philippians 1:6
And I know that this is a good work He has begun....because there is no way I could have done it myself.
Until next time - which is hopefully soon.
Loving Radically Through Christ,