Sunday, October 2, 2011

Calvary's Women In Ministry...Under Protection

We have a miniature beagle named Jade. She is one of the happiest dogs you will ever meet, but she isn’t much smarter than the day she arrived on this planet. As a matter of fact, beagles are on the list of one of the dumbest dogs, but to their defense it is because their noses run headstrong over any common sense. Once their noses get working on a scent, nothing else seems to matter. You can call her till you are blue in the face, but she will not come. Jade is one of the sweetest, most loving, most tolerant dogs I have ever seen. She leans on you. Erin will be sitting on the floor doing homework, and Jade will come and plop her hiney down right beside Erin and start leaning on her. If Erin moves, Jade tumbles. Pearce, needless to say, is all over this dog. He loves on her more than anyone else in this family. Then there is Jade’s tail. It wags incessantly…sometimes side to side and other times in a circle, whacking whatever is around her. And when we arrive home at the end of the day, Jade comes trotting down the drive-way, tail wagging and smiling from long ear to long ear. We call her the “welcoming committee.” Oh to be such a happy person as she is a happy dog.

So, when I saw this picture come up on the internet, I cracked up laughing. This is so my dog. This dog is so intent on finding a scent or following the scent, he doesn’t realize that the thing he is hunting is actually hunting him! The fox is a male trying to protect his den full of his cubs. That fox could very easily reach up and take a bite out of that dog’s backend.

The longer I looked at that picture, the harder I laughed. That is soooo my dog. That is sooooo my dog. Just happy to be outside. Happy to be on a hunt on a beautiful day…and doesn’t have a clue. Then I wonder, “Is that me? I think I’m on the right path, but have I missed a very important point? Am I missing something? What am I missing? What am I supposed to be following? Who am I supposed to be following? If the person whom I am to be following isn’t moving, then what am I doing?”

This is truly where I am right now, or should I say, this is where I am trying to avoid being right now. You see, I lead the women’s ministry in my church. Back at the end of July, we submitted our ideas and what God had put on our hearts to our leadership, our pastor, and we still haven’t heard a thing. It’s confusing and frustrating on this end, but I also know that the hand of God is on my pastor. I know that God has put my pastor as my leader, and that I am to serve under his direction and guidance. To act without his approval, to move ahead without his permission is much like this dog ahead of the fox…dangerous. If women’s ministry is to succeed, we have to submit to the leadership God gives us. In order to have God’s protection, we must stay under the umbrella of protection afforded by our leadership.

I know there are many women who are chomping at the bits to get moving. You are excited and anxious to start serving. In the past year and a half, the women’s ministry has developed into a serving and active ministry. Whatever we do, there is some aspect of mission. Whatever we do, we try to incorporate multiple generations because we believe in the mentoring laid out in the Bible. We’ve been encouraging women to be the church outside the walls of the church for several seasons now, and quite a few have begun volunteering at Crisis Pregnancy Center. A group of women volunteered at the Heart of Hope Maternity Home. We also had women open up their homes in neighborhoods to host “Sweet Stars.” At one house, we had ½ of the participants as members and the other ½ were guests. That’s what it is all about, and I know that is why the women of Calvary are excited to get going. You are ready to reach out and make a difference. I am too…trust me. But even more important than those things which were great and effective, I want the women of Calvary to be a part of the excitement that is going on NOW. Calvary is alive. The Holy Spirit is moving. So we will wait. The Bible says that “those who wait on the Lord will renew their strength”(Is 40:31). And ladies, we may be waiting because our strength, God’s strength may be required for the next step.

I will not lead a group of women ahead of our pastor or against our pastor. I will not be like that beagle…it’s too easy to get bit in the rear that way. Getting ahead of leadership guarantees that our focus is not on God, it’s on self and what we plan will fail. Bible says it. There’s a story in Acts 5, and this verse has hit me between the eyes – “…for if this plan or this undertaking is of man, it will fail; but if it is of God, you will not be able to overthrow them. You might even be found opposing God!” Acts 5:38-39. I do not want to be found opposing God. Do you?

So, please do not get frustrated or discouraged. Pray for our pastor. Pray for the leadership in our church. Pray that God continues to rain down and pour out His blessings on this church, so we can pour it out on this community and city.

Love y’all bunches. You are a blessing.

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