Tag Archive | Service

Worth the Wait

The Lord does not delay [as though He were unable to act] and is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is [extraordinarily] patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance. (2 Peter 3:9 AMP)

DSCN5168A week without a kitchen sink constitutes an interesting lifestyle to say the least. Our new cupboards are in place and functional—we put the knobs on them this evening. I even put a few items in their new homes. The microwave, stove, and refrigerator make it somewhat feasible to prepare meals. But the lack of a counter top and sink creates some difficulty in cleanup as well as food preparation.

Nevertheless, the dismantled kitchen is taking its toll me. I can’t find ¾ of our pantry supplies and utensils. I know everything is in boxes in the basement … but which box? The disorganization of that part of our house has flooded into the remainder of the house, including my brain. I find it more difficult than usual to concentrate, plan my day, and shift through priorities. Thus, my patience is growing thin. I’m anxious to see the finished product. I’m anxious to have full use of my kitchen. I’m anxious to reorganize. I’m anxious to have some sort of normalcy back in my life. I don’t want to wait for the contractor to come back to do the final adjustments. I don’t want to wait for the designer to install the counter top and sink. I don’t want to wait for the back-ordered faucet to arrive. I know it’ll be worth the wait. But still … I WANT IT FINISHED NOW!

In Jesus' EyesLet’s face it, remodeling isn’t the only aspect of life in which I grow impatient. When crisis strikes, God begins a new work in me, and I feel like a kitchen in the remodeling process. He has to tear out old habits, the shabby attitude, and the broken emotions before He can install a Christlike image in my heart.

Reconstruction takes time. My usefulness seems limited, almost dysfunctional even. Now and then, I sense His adjustments as His works. But I wonder if anyone notices the changes He’s making in me. I wonder if I’ll ever love and forgive others as God has loved and forgiven me. I wonder if I’ll ever get the hang of being Christlike.

Yeah, I know it’ll be worth the wait. But still …

How about you? How is God remodeling your heart into the image of Christ?

See you in a twinkling,

Brenda K. Hendricks

 

Be a Service Dog

All Scripture is God-breathe and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. (2 Timothy 3:16-17 NIV)

Lab 3 4 webBecause of a disabling disease, my friend Joan employs a service dog. This dog tirelessly caters to her every need from handing her shoes in the morning to replacing them at night. There seems to be no task he can’t accomplish short of driving her van and paying her bills. Impressive animal in deed, but he’s new at this. Although he’d been trained for two years and had earned service dog status before entering Joan’s household, he still has somethings to learn. You see, Joan is also deathly allergic to latex. The agency, which trained him, did not train him to detect latex. Joan has to do that herself. Not to worry, she trained her previous dog for her specific requirements. No doubt, she can train her new companion.

Joan hasn’t told me exactly how she managed to train her first dog to sniff out latex. But the end result saved her life more than once. One of the funniest stories she told me about it was, the dog grabbed a bag of chips from her and won’t let her open it. The only thing Joan and her husband could figure out was the company must’ve changed the ingredients in the glue used to seal the bag to include latex. Now that’s a sensitive sniffer. Joan could tell you many instances where that dog spared her a trip to the hospital and perhaps saved her life.

Like Joan’s dog, we are in service to our Master. He is training us to “sniff out” dangerous situations and warn those around us. We need to heed our Master’s voice. We need to develop sensitivity to demonic activity and satanic devices that could potentially destroy not only our faith, but also other’s souls. We need to warn those around us of the pitfalls set in their paths.

The only way to accomplish the “service dog” status is by studying God’s word and praying for discernment. Then put into practice what we’ve learned.

How about you? What have you noticed about your environment that could be a potential threat to those around you, and how have you shared your concerns?

See you in a twinkling,

Brenda K. Hendricks

 

 

Over the Top in Obedience

Then Moses raised his arm and struck the rock twice with his staff. Water gushed out, and the community and their livestock drank. (Numbers 20:11)

Water from the Rock

Water from the Rock

When six-year-old Melinda disobeyed me in church, my anger flared. I brought her home, got out a wooden spoon, bent her over my knee, and yes, I paddled her. Twice … if I remember correctly. Then the spoon flew across the room. I swear Melinda’s guardian angel intervened before I became an abusive mother. To this day, I carry the bitter shame and remorse for my actions that day. Nothing that child did warranted a wooden-spoon spanking. Although God instructs us to discipline our children—whoever spares the rod hates their children, but the one who loves their children is careful to discipline them (Proverbs 13:24 emphasis mine), I had gone too far.

Likewise, Moses had gone too far when he struck the rock twice with his staff. Yes, he got the desired results, but not without punishment. This was the second time God answered the Hebrews’ murmuring by producing water from a rock. The first time is recorded in Exodus 17:1-7.

Here are some of the differences between the two occurrences:

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Next Week:

Hide me in the cleft of the rock. Study Exodus 33:18-23.

See you in a twinkling,

Brenda K. Hendricks

Sheep on the Battlefield

For “you were like sheep going astray,” but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls. (1 Peter 2:25)

Sheep on the BattlefieldWhen my husband served in the U. S. Army Reserves, he often came home disgruntled. Many men and women who signed on the dotted line for the pay didn’t want to do the work. Imagine that. They thought their weekend maneuvers and summer camps were meant for relaxation and partying for which they’d get a monthly check.

Some of the women stuffed their duffle bags with mirrors, makeup, hair dryers, and curling irons to spend two weeks in the field (as in simulated combat conditions). Where’d they think they’d plug their electrical appliances in? Trees and rocks don’t come with electrical outlets.

The men showed up wearing leather jackets sporting their gangs’ logos, do-rags, and earrings. They had to be told to change or leave.

These people didn’t take their training seriously. They had no real commitment to their duty as soldiers in the U. S. Army. Because of their self-centeredness, they were vulnerable and would’ve jeopardized the lives of everyone in their unit had they been placed in a combat situation. They were like sheep on the battlefield.

We, Christians, are also like sheep on the battlefield.

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Next week:

We’ll look at repentance. Prepare by studying Luke 7-9.

See you in a twinkling,
Brenda K. Hendricks

Good Works–Spiritual Weapons?

Jesus answered, “It is written …” (Luke 4:4, 8, and 12)

On the wings of opportunity

On the wings of opportunity

 

I was recently offered a ministry. Totally unexpected. Totally worthwhile. Totally out of my comfort zone. But God often does that, right. He wants us to spread our wings, share His goodness, experience new realms of His glory. And I’ve been pleading with Him to use me in whatever capacity that pleases Him.

So what’s the problem? Why didn’t I immediately jump at the opportunity? It’s an answer to prayer, right?

Here’s the thing:

Satan knows how much I want to be used by God. The enemy also knows how to sidetrack all of us from our calling. One of the diversions he uses to lure us away from God’s intended work is to offer another form of good work.

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Next week, we’ll take a look at the fear factor. Is fear a spiritual weapon used by God or the enemy? Prepare by studying Psalm 27.

See you in a twinkling,

Brenda K. Hendricks

Into Every Life–a Mary-moment

Advent 2014

Day Two

 “I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled.” Then the angel left her. (Luke 1:38)

"Do Not Be Afraid"

“Do Not Be Afraid”

If an angel appeared to you, how would you react?

Good question and one we couldn’t honestly answer unless it actually happened. Nevertheless, we can speculate.

Fear is the first thing that comes to my mind. No matter what we think our reactions would be, fear would be among them. Every incidence recorded in the Bible where it mentions angels appeared to humans, it also states those who saw the celestial beings were afraid. Mary must have been no different for the angel says “Do not be afraid.” So it stands to reason that if we saw an angel, we’d tremble with fear.

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In preparation for tomorrow’s meditation, read Matthew 1:18-25.

See you in a twinkling,

Brenda K. Hendricks

Draw Near to God? What Does That Even Look Like?

Spiritual Warfare

Part 15

And since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings … (Hebrews 10:21:22a)

Draw Near to Me

Draw Near to Me

While meditating on the portions of Scripture that require us to draw near to God, I wanted to know exactly what that looked like. So I prayed and contemplated about it all week. I know Bible study and prayer help. But is there something more.

I thought of my grandactives standing or sitting across the room. We have conversations about all sorts of stuff that are important to them—the sports they like to play, school, their friends. But when we touch on a subject that bothers them, I pat the cushion beside me and urge them to “draw near to me.” Each one, at one time or another, has sat close to me on the couch or on my lap. We snuggle. At times, no ears or lips are engaged. The moment becomes a communication of the heart.

I picture intimacy with God—drawing near to Him—like that. He doesn’t want me to feel alone in my struggles. He wants me to snuggle in close to Him and rest in His presence.

Yet, there is more to drawing close to someone. Last night as I lie in bed thinking about this, another vision came to mind concerning my grandactives.

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Next Week:

Prepare by reading, pondering, and praying about James 4:8.

See you in a twinkling,

Brenda K. Hendricks