The Monday After: Know Contentment Through Generosity {Dawn}

You know that Sunday feeling, right?

We leave the church building inspired and filled with Truth and encouragement on Sundays … and somewhere along the course of the week, pieces of the message tend to fade and we often lose that Sunday feeling.

The Monday After {the Sunday Sermon} carries the Sunday message into Monday mornings by sharing how what we’ve heard on Sunday morning is making a difference in our Mondays, our weeks, our lives. Because of your generosity to Accelerate, we are able to share these stories! Thank you!

The Monday After Sunday, July 13, 2014: Habits of Happiness: Know Contentment Through Generosity {Listen HERE!}

By Dawn Kelley

He was walking down the street pushing a shopping cart full of cans.

It was one of the ways he made his living. I would see him every Tuesday evening and Wednesday morning walking through my dad’s neighborhood collecting aluminum cans from recycling bins and trash cans.

He did it joyfully, most often with a smile on his face, and sometimes he would smile at me a give me a slight wave. One day I saw him walking with his cart in the pouring rain; he had only a light jacket and had a hat on his head. I was in my nice, warm well-covered car watching him as he continued to dig and collect cans. I felt a huge tug on my heart to give.

What was I to give? I had no money and his cart would not fit in my car to give him a ride home. I pulled the car over to see what I could give him and under my passenger seat I found an umbrella. As I pulled up to where he was stationed on his route I rolled my window down and greeted him while handing him my umbrella. He thanked me and walked away. I saw him many times after that with the umbrella hanging on his cart. His smile captured my heart, and it showed me what it really meant to give with a joyful heart. Pastor Byian’s words were a reminder for me that no matter what my circumstances, God has given me so many ways to be generous.

I read on wikipedia, “Generosity is not solely based on one’s economic status, but instead, includes the individual’s pure intentions of looking out for society’s common good and giving from the heart. Generosity should reflect the individuals passion to help others.”

For me that passion comes from Christ, and it reflects His love not only for me but for those He places in my path.

I often think about what people are thinking when they give. I wonder if they are giving a gift, money or their time out of obligation or because they truly want to give and they find deep joy in doing so. I know that sometimes I am giving because someone told me I need to or because scripture tells me to give.

This message challenged me to evaluate why I am giving. I am challenged to question my motives and give from my heart with pure intentions. Reading in Phillippians gives me a clear understanding of what God hopes for me in the area of generosity. He wants me to give without expecting any thing in return. He wants me to follow His leading in giving, whether it’s giving of my time, money, or even of my kindness. In the end, I can do it because God has given me the strength.

I want a happy life that reflects generosity.

Dawn Kelley is the wife of Andrew and the homeschooling mother of four, Jaden, Niya, Makayla and Aiden. She loves to read and write in her spare time, and she currently uses a personal blog to share her adventures in motherhood and womanhood.

 

The Monday After: Habits of Happiness: Relationships {Dawn}

You know that Sunday feeling, right?

We leave the church building inspired and filled with Truth and encouragement on Sundays … and somewhere along the course of the week, pieces of the message tend to fade and we often lose that Sunday feeling.

The Monday After {the Sunday Sermon} carries the Sunday message into Monday mornings by sharing how what we’ve heard on Sunday morning is making a difference in our Mondays, our weeks, our lives. Because of your generosity to Accelerate, we are able to share these stories! Thank you!

The Monday After Sunday, June 8, 2014: Habits of Happiness: Relationships

By Dawn Kelley

She was just a tad bit annoying, and I knew that God put her in my life.

Mary was super needy and for some reason she clung to me. I was miserable! The conversations we had were one way so really they were just listening sessions. After awhile I began to tune her out. I was frustrated and downright worn out by her life, her chaos. I thought I was doing the right thing by being there, but I was missing a key component; I was missing joy. I was loving her from my head and not my heart. The sad thing is … I am just figuring this all out.

I haven’t been praying for Mary with Joy. My prayers have been pretty restless, and at the end of my prayers I have found myself asking, “How much longer God? How much longer do I have to endure this?”

I believe I got an answer while listening to Pastor Joe’s message when he encouraged us to abandon telling it like it is in favor of telling it like it could be.

I find my self being a little too blunt with Mary in telling it like it is. There have been many times, more than I care to say, that I have told it like it is and not how it could be. At the top of my prayer list is me, and my prayer is, “God, change my heart. Help me to love your creation the way you love us.”

Next is Mary. “Lord I want to see the amazing person that you created her to be; I want to see her through your eyes.”

I admit I haven’t prayed for Mary with joy; it has been more like an SOS call because I felt like I was going under!

I was praying for her out of complete fear that she would be in my life forever and she would never go away. But now I’m sensing the real problem was how I was viewing my relationship with her.

Pastor Joe said that nobody changes by nagging. What an eye opening thought, and the more I think on it the more I realized that I was doing just that.

After listening to the message I sat down and wrote a list of Mary’s wonderful qualities. It was amazing how much I found there that I really admire. Today I realized that I am honored to be Mary’s friend She is the daughter of the King!

I am challenged to pray for Mary with joy daily and to pray that God continues to change my heart.

Pastor Joe reminded us that God isn’t waiting for me to be perfect for Him to love me.

I can love Mary as I pray for her with joy and be more gracious towards her.

I can’t expect perfection. But I can expect a perfect Father to make the changes that need to be made in Mary … and in me.

 

Dawn Kelley is the wife of Andrew and the homeschooling mother of four, Jaden, Niya, Makayla and Aiden. She loves to read and write in her spare time, and she currently uses a personal blog to share her adventures in motherhood and womanhood.

 

The Monday After: The Scandal of Forgiveness {Dawn}

You know that Sunday feeling, right?

We leave the church building inspired and filled with Truth and encouragement on Sundays … and somewhere along the course of the week, pieces of the message tend to fade and we often lose that Sunday feeling.

The Monday After {the Sunday Sermon} carries the Sunday message into Monday mornings by sharing how what we’ve heard on Sunday morning is making a difference in our Mondays, our weeks, our lives. Because of your generosity to Accelerate, we are able to share these stories! Thank you!

The Monday After Sunday, May 11, 2013: The Scandal of Forgiveness {Listen Here}

By Dawn Kelley

Ignoring sin in our lives doesn’t make it go away … that is something to ponder. I know at times I want to ignore things and hope those things go away, like the mess my kids make after a meal or the loads of laundry that pile up in a household of six! In reality it does not go away; it only continues to build, the laundry pile growing taller than my three year old.

It is the same with sin, we ignore it and it becomes bigger than us. It becomes who and what we identify ourselves with. Sin, in it’s ugliness, becomes us. We cannot seem to separate ourselves from it nor can we see our selves without it.

As Pastor Bryan said it changes the way we see things. Sickness blinds us, and we can no longer see reality. We no longer see the amazing creation that we are. We no longer see that God made us in His own image and he calls us sons and daughters.

Perry Noble said, “It’s okay not to be okay but it is not okay to stay that way.” Jesus came for the sick. He came for us in our “not okay” state, but he came so that we didn’t have to stay that way. He came to offer us forgiveness from our sin so that we could truly live.

I need to make it a point to seek God especially when I cannot see where I’m entangled in sin. I don’t want to be blinded by sin nor do I want to carry what feels like a heavy bag of rocks. I want to see things for what they really are. I want to see my life through God’s eyes.

Early Detection is key, and Christ makes it possible to overcome. I am challenged to pay attention, pay attention to myself and to those around me. I am feeling led to seek out someone who will help me to keep the blinders off. I am going to call on the “truth tellers” in my life this week. I pray you are challenged to join me as well.

 

Dawn Kelley is the wife of Andrew and the homeschooling mother of four, Jaden, Niya, Makayla and Aiden. She loves to read and write in her spare time, and she currently uses a personal blog to share her adventures in motherhood and womanhood.

 

The Monday After: To the Jew First {Dawn}

You know that Sunday feeling, right?

We leave the church building inspired and filled with Truth and encouragement on Sundays … and somewhere along the course of the week, pieces of the message tend to fade and we often lose that Sunday feeling.

The Monday After {the Sunday Sermon} carries the Sunday message into Monday mornings by sharing how what we’ve heard on Sunday morning is making a difference in our Mondays, our weeks, our lives. Because of your generosity to Accelerate, we are able to share these stories! Thank you!

The Monday After Sunday, April 6, 2013: To the Jew First {Listen Here}

By Dawn Kelley

I am not ashamed, of the gospel … so why is it that I have never shared the gospel with God’s chosen people?  The answer is because I, like many others, have overlooked them. I am sad to say I have not prioritized God’s people. As I was engaged in conversation after the service, several Immanuel attendees shared their thoughts with me, and I would like to share them with you.

“Wow, I have had this on my heart for years, and I have been feeling completely unequipped for this emathewsmission, which God had so clearly shown me. So, I put it on the back burner, let it simmer and quite frankly ignored God on the subject of reaching a majority of my childhood friends and neighbors as well as my former work community on the north shore. I have wrestled with the feeling that I could not possibly know where to begin to have these particularly challenging conversations with a community of people that has always been so dear to me. So to today I feel convicted and awed by God’s words of love for his chosen people, and I can not wait to learn more on how to begin and maintain effective communication of the gospel while being loving, caring and respectful. Thank you Pastor Joe for being so willing to go where you are led,” Erika Mathews said.

I also had the privilege of speaking with Marilyn Miller, the Development Officer at Life in Messiah, after the service and I asked her what her biggest take away from the message was and her response was this quote from Pastor Joe: “The greatest from of Antisemitism is NOT sharing the gospel with Jewish people.” Marilyn also encourages us to go to the website LifeInMessiah.org and share the letter to the Jewish people which you will find under the “What’s next” tab.

Aaron Mathews said, “I personally found today’s message to be a wake up call. There is a whole amathewssection of God’s people that don’t know the good news of Jesus and that is not acceptable. I work in Highland Park, and half the people I work with are Jewish; I have not had any idea of how to reach out and spread the gospel with them. I am really looking forward to exploring what is available with In Search of Shalom”

As Pastor Joe said the gospel is the power of salvation. I share the gospel with others, now I am feeling challenged to share the gospel with God’s chosen. Let us fight for God’s chosen and not stop until our Messiah returns.

 

Dawn Kelley is the wife of Andrew and the homeschooling mother of four, Jaden, Niya, Makayla and Aiden. She loves to read and write in her spare time, and she currently uses a personal blog to share her adventures in motherhood and womanhood.

 

The Monday After: How to Study Your Bible {Dawn}

You know that Sunday feeling, right?

We leave the church building inspired and filled with Truth and encouragement on Sundays … and somewhere along the course of the week, pieces of the message tend to fade and we often lose that Sunday feeling.

The Monday After {the Sunday Sermon} carries the Sunday message into Monday mornings by sharing how what we’ve heard on Sunday morning is making a difference in our Mondays, our weeks, our lives. Because of your generosity to Accelerate, we are able to share these stories! Thank you!

The Monday After Sunday, March 2, 2013: How to Study Your Bible {Listen Here}

By Dawn Kelley

“You have to study His Word.”

These were among some of the first words my mentor said to me only days after I accepted Jesus as my Savior. She drilled into me the importance of prayer and studying God’s Word.

After all how do you get to know the depth of His heart if you don’t? With those words came instruction.

HisWordHisHeart

To me, this was the beauty of Pastor Joe’s message; he gave us a simple three-step method to study God’s Word: observation, interpretation, and application. I can’t help but think of the Geico commercial that says, ‘it’s so easy even a caveman can do it’. The problem I have isn’t with its simplicity, but rather my desire to do so. I love to read His Word, but sometimes I have to be reminded to go deeper and study His Word, really finding out what He has said.

I remember my mentor in the first months of my life with Christ reminding me that just the same as with prayer, studying Gods word is a conversation. He speaks to me with His Word, and I ask questions; He answers them most often with His word, and I respond; He works, and my life changes.

I want to be the person that knows God’s word because I have studied it. I want to be the person who chooses differently as a result God’s Word being studied and the Spirit working in me. I want to be the person that knows God deeply because I am spending time studying His Word with a fervent heart. I pray God continues to give me the desire to study His Word.

I have purposed in my heart to know God’s word. To study his wonderful words and to soak in His life as I live mine for Him.

Dawn Kelley is the wife of Andrew and the homeschooling mother of four, Jaden, Niya, Makayla and Aiden. She loves to read and write in her spare time, and she currently uses a personal blog to share her adventures in motherhood and womanhood.