Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Faith -> works

2:53 p.m. Today's project was to start outlining my class presentation and putting together visuals for the class I'm teaching at church next Tuesday the 23rd called "The Family Garden."
As usual, I got distracted by the first active thing I could find to do, going to Parkview Nursery on Chicago Ave. here in Riverside to buy plants to put in the ground for summer crops. I guess that is what will give my class that ring of authenticity: up-to-the-minute experience! Steve and I watered the winter garden, and made two cantaloupe mounds, adding plenty of the sandy soil that they require to our well-composted soil. I also stirred some sand into the soil under the spinach plants that are growing ever so slowly, possibly not enough drainage? Or maybe spinach is just a slow plant!!
Then I got the phone call I've been waiting for: a widowed mother of three teenagers from church had a heart attack and needs ladies to take dinners over and possibly do some light cleaning. Our pastor's wife had tapped me a number of weeks ago for starting a helps ministry to help isolated women, and I then gathered seven women who were delighted to be asked. The visiting ministry is meant to meet a need for friendship, comfort and prayer as the Lord calls us to do. James 1:27 says, "pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble..." Time to get the meals set up!
It's hard not having any relatives within driving distance, but many find themselves in this situation, and the Body of Christ was designed to fill such needs. The only time I've personally had meals delivered has been after coming home from the hospital with a new baby. The women from the Bible study I was teaching in 1988 when I gave birth to Steven brought meals for 2 straight weeks until I thanked them and said no more was needed! Being a mother of five took a bit of getting used to, and a wide variety of nice, hot meals was a treat, even with my mother at home with me. (She handled discipline of the other four kids and kept things in order!) Our group did the same for all of our new moms. But think of a mom without her own mother or mother-in-law--that's hard going. Now imagine being bedridden with hapless teenage boys--time to call the church, and we are ready.
Not for one minute do I take leadership in any ministry for granted, because service to women in our church is a joy and privilege! I pray the Lord may find me faithful in teaching, writing, and exemplifying the Word of God. And may I be able to receive from others as well. Even if I have only one lady in my class, my prayerful determination is that not only will she be equipped to start her garden, but assured that the Lord is with her to guide her in all of her endeavors!
The first meal delivery will be needed tomorrow night, and I'll go ahead with that to give my helpers more time to adjust their schedules. My friends will be just as excited as I am this afternoon to carry out this critical command of the Lord!
Thank You, Lord, for coming to earth to die for our sins, becoming one of us, and then leaving Your Holy Spirit to lead us, comfort us and show us how to comfort and love one another!!

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