Extra Strength: More than You Can Imagine

We leave the church building inspired and filled with Truth and encouragement each Sunday … and somewhere along the course of the week, often we find ourselves in need of a little bit of something to help us through.

Welcome to Extra Strength: a mid-week pick-you-up for the soul. Be sure to scroll all the way to the bottom for extra encouragement and challenge. 

Extra Strength

We are Church: Serve {Sunday, August 23, 2015 }

By Hyacynth Worth

I don’t have enough to fill these people; this is my bathroom confessional.

I’m sitting on the edge of the bathtub behind locked bathroom doors praying for Jesus to help me because there is not enough of me for four children. 

Why did I ever think I could do this mothering thing in the first place let alone mothering four kids?

Just moments prior I’d run into brick wall after brick wall after brick wall with each of our children within moments of each other, and in those moments, as each situation spiraled deeper out of control, I spiraled further down the hole of doubt, fear and anger. 

I knew when the tears started welling, I needed a mommy time out, so I all but dove into the bathroom, intent on hiding from children who were hungry, and I’m not talking for popsicles, though they would disagree. 

They are, indeed, hungry for popsicles all of the time, any time .. and they also are hungry for time, for emotional regulation, for connection, for guidance, for help, for physical love, for a listening ear … If I said hungry, I meant ravenous. 

As I’m praying and gathering my patience, thoughts and resolve, four little fingers slip through the crack beneath the bottom of the door, a small but demanding voice following on repeat, “mommy, mommy, mommy, mommy, MOMMY.”

My prayers turn from politely frustrated to desperately real and really desperate. 

“There’s not enough of me. I am not cut out for this. I don’t have enough to fill these people. There are four of them, and one of me, and there’s simply not enough of me to meet their needs. What made me think I could do this?! I’m failing all of the time!” 

I’m rapid-fire confessing this to Jesus like a kid spills his guts when he’s caught red-handed taking from the cookie jar, and I hear the Still-Small Voice say, “I know. But there’s enough of Me for all of you. And you have Me, so you do have enough.”

I remember in this moment of bathroom confession the prayer we’ve been praying throughout our whole adoption journey, throughout the time our family has grown from four to six, “Now to Him who is able to do abundantly more than we could ever hope or imagine, to Him be the glory,” and I remember all of the ways God has shown Himself bigger than all of the impossibilities, bigger than the challenges, bigger than governments and rules and policies and bigger than our own fears and inadequacies. 

It’s as though Jesus Himself is reminding me that He doesn’t call the equipped, but he equips the called. 

And I know that I know that I know I was called to this service — to mothering, to raising another generation of minds and hearts that will seek to love and live in God’s love and truth. 

I know that this is where my “deep passion meets the worlds great need.” (Vantage Point3) 

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This remembering of God’s faithfulness and God’s goodness and God’s love, fuels my mind enough to slowly will my body into taking a deep breath, inhaling the love of my Father, standing up, unlocking the bathroom door and scooping into my arms the small child on the other side. 

And because of His goodness, His Spirit living inside of me gives me enough for the moments that follow, multiplying my little and making it enough. 

I sit and ponder these moments in my own life, and I know that it’s true in my own life, what Pastor Josh Petersen said during his sermon on Sunday when he was talking about how Jesus and the disciples fed the multitudes of people with very little in Matthew 14: “There’s an interesting progression that happens. Jesus gives them a task, or an opportunity, and he says, ‘feed these people.’ Then they take what they have, Jesus blesses it and then He says, ‘go serve the people.’”

And how about you? Where is that place where your deep passion meets the world’s great need? Go there. Know that you’re bringing little. And know that He’ll make it more than you could ever ask or imagine. 

Now to Him be the glory as we serve in His likeness. 

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Hyacynth Worth is beloved to God, wife to John, mom to two boys and two girls and author of Undercover Mother. 

Be Challenged:  

This week pray about where you feel God may be leading you to serve. Ask God to reveal to you where your deep passion meets the world’s great need.

Extra Strength: It Starts With an Invitation {Sheryll}

We leave the church building inspired and filled with Truth and encouragement each Sunday … and somewhere along the course of the week, often we find ourselves in need of a little bit of something to help us through.

Welcome to Extra Strength: a mid-week pick-you-up for the soul. Be sure to scroll all the way to the bottom for extra encouragement and challenge. 

Extra Strength

We Are Church: We Invite {Sunday, August 18, 2015}

By Sheryll Belonga

It started with an invitation.  But before that I believe it started with prayer, not a simple prayer but a pleading to God for my soul. The person praying this prayer was my Aunt Mary.  Mary.  That name alone means holy, right.  It’s like my grandmother knew that she would have a spiritual purpose in life.

Growing up I viewed her as religious. Anything that was not spiritual was evil and you always felt like you had to do right when you were around her. You watched what you said and did so that you would not offend her.  She wanted everyone in her family to be saved.

After I graduated from high school I accepted the invitation to go to youth camp with her kids and the other kids from their church. It sounded like fun and it was. It was my first real encounter with God.  Sure I prayed before bed and confessed my sins as part of my religion but the relationship aspect was missing.

At camp I accepted Christ for the second time (the first time was at the age of 13).  I was baptized upon returning from camp. That was when more invitations came.  I was invited to go to their church. I went. I was invited to go to Bible study. I went. I was invited into their religion and I went. My walk changed and my talk changed but my soul was still divided.  I soon left the church and went on my own but the invitations to come to church didn’t go away. I didn’t go back but she didn’t stop inviting.

Back then I saw pressure to be this spiritual person but for her it was more than that. She wanted to insure that I really knew Him and that she would see me one day in heaven. She never let the fear of rejection stand in her way.  She never cared about what people would say.  She was determined to not let an opportunity slip away.

I have a relationship with Jesus Christ because of her. I am whose I am because of her. It started with an invitation. But long before that I know it started with prayer.

 

Sheryll Belonga is wife to Jurrell and homeschooling mom to their three great boys. Her desire is to glorify God in all she says and does in spite of life’s daily happenings.

 

 

 

Be Challenged:

Who is God placing on your heart to invite to church?  Who is God placing on your heart to invite into a relationship with Him? They may not accept the invitation right away and when they do their lives may not initially turn out the way you hope, but it will turn out. It all starts with an invitation – but before you invite be sure to pray.

Extra Strength: GOING THROUGH LIFE WITH BLINDERS ON {Gracie}

We leave the church building inspired and filled with Truth and encouragement each Sunday … and somewhere along the course of the week, often we find ourselves in need of a little bit of something to help us through.

Welcome to Extra Strength: a mid-week pick-you-up for the soul. Be sure to scroll all the way to the bottom for extra encouragement and challenge. 

Extra Strength

We Are Church: We Focus {Sunday, August 9, 2015}

By Gracie Adamek

Over the past year and a half, I have been privileged to volunteer at a barn for horse therapy. Kids with all sorts of developmental disabilities would come ride the horses and learn to take care of them. I would walk next to the horse and assist the riders with their exercises. I would also make sure they were being safe. In my time there, I learned a lot about horses and so when Josh compared people to horses on Sunday, it made perfect sense to me.

Horses are huge creatures. They’re powerful and majestic. They’re also skittish and easily spooked. One of the first things they told me when I started volunteering was not to walk around the back of the horse because if you did, and it saw you, you would scare it and who knows what the horse would do. It could kick you, run off, jump, or even buck the rider off.

Horses are always aware of whatever they can see. Ever heard the term “out of sight, out of mind”? Well, that’s basically how it is for horses. That’s why blinders are so important. They don’t block horses’ vision all together, just the peripherals. If they can only see one direction, that’s all they’ll concentrate on. So set them a straight course, and they’ll go unafraid.

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God wants the same to be true of The Church. We have the Truth right at our fingertips and its our job to share it! Its on us to tell the world what The Lord has entrusted in us. But people scare pretty easily. We see everything going on around us and we try to back away. But God sets a straight path for us. 2 Corinthians 5:20 says “So we are Christ’s ambassadors; God is making His appeal through us. We speak for Christ when we say ‘come back to God!'”. God makes it so clear for us. This is our mission. Tell the world. Don’t be afraid, don’t get spooked. Just go.

Gracie Adamek attends the College of Lake County and hopes to one day be a special education teacher. She likes to sing, act, knit, and write. She hopes you enjoy your time here, reading these blogs, and is very grateful for the opportunity to glorify God through her words.

 

 

Be challenged:

Where is God telling you to go unafraid and draw people to Him?  Pray and ask God to remove your fear and to give you blinders so that the only thing you see is the path that He has placed before you.