Sunday, November 25, 2012

Fueled and Aflame

"Don't burn out; keep yourself fueled and aflame." - Romans 12:12 (MSG)

I need to be reminded of this. As a person who works in ministry or multiple ministries, there's often a concern of getting "burnt out." And it's a dangerous thing. But the key is staying fueled and flamed.

Simple idea. Hard to carry out.

For so many of us, the issue is not cutting out bad things for good. It is cutting out good for best. And not saying certain ministries are better than others- more that we have to be involved where the Lord has called us and apply ourselves... instead of piddling ourselves in a bunch of different areas.

For me, I think of this verse in terms of leading worship. It would apply to all ministries, but as I lead people into the presence of God, one of the most important things I can do to prepare is getting fueled and fed myself. It's easy to keep pouring out, pouring out until we are completely empty. But if we are able to pour out from an overflow of what God's doing, we will never run dry. I know as a worship leader, you can't take someone where you've never been. So if I haven't been in God's presence, in his word, and in real relationship with him, I'm not going to be able to lead people effectively. And I have come to cherish those times every evening when I slow down, dig deep and get swept away in God's sweet presence. I hope you all will do the same sometime today.

I guess this post is really me speaking to myself. But hopefully it will be of encouragement to someone else as well :)

This afternoon I'm attending the annual AG Village Christmas concert that happens every year the weekend after Thanksgiving. I'm not in it this year, but it's become a tradition and great way to start off the holiday season! My parents are in it and I'm sure it'll be full of Christmas cheer :)

'Til next time...

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Fellowship or Socializing?

For the last couple weeks I've been meditating on the word "fellowship." As Christians I think we often throw the term around in a loose way and think if there is a group of believers meeting together it's automatically "fellowship." But in an excerpt from our Spiritual Disciplines study I found this very interesting...

"Although socializing is often both a part of and the context of fellowship, it is possible to socialize without having fellowship. Socializing involves the sharing of human and earthly life. Christian fellowship, New Testament koinonia, involves the sharing of spiritual life. Don't misunderstand - socializing is a valuable asset to the church and necessary for a balanced life. But we have gone beyond giving socializing the place it deserves. We have become willing to accept it as a substitute for fellowship, almost cheating ourselves of the Christian birthright of true fellowship altogether. When this happens, our practice of the Spiritual Disciplines suffers and our growth in grace is stunted." The author goes on to say that at the end of the day, we often settle for "little more than the fast-food kind of socializing that even the world can experience."

This was a good point to think on.  Socializing with other Christians is often important, but there is nothing like sitting and sharing what's going on in our walks with God. Where He's stretching, teaching and loving us in every day life. These are the conversations that I truly cherish and will continue to think back on.

On that note, I had a great weekend full of great true fellowship. I am thankful to God for the wonderful relationships he has blessed me with and the way we are able to love and encourage each other. I was fortunate to have a free weekend! My Friday morning consisted of coffee with Shelanie, a dear friend and true worshiper. We chatted about life, me becoming an auntie, and the role of worship leading in our church bodies.

That night I attended a chorale concert directed by an old mentor/friend/pastor. Afterwards, a group of us went over to our friend, Anne's house, sat by the fire and talked about life. Then Saturday I had coffee with Joanna, who I've known since I was 10. Sitting in Starbucks talking about being a good steward of God's gifts and how to best glorify him in our uses of those gifts was so encouraging to me.

That afternoon I met Amanda for Thai food (our favorite!) and walked over to the park to sit in the grass and reflect on God's goodness. That night Danielle and Alisha (two of my awesome high school girls) came to spend the night at my house. We had dinner with my fam, went to Boba Stop, watched girly movies, ate cookie dough, and painted our nails. Socializing at it's best! ;) Then we got up this morning and went to church together!

Tonight, Cara, Amanda, and I drove up to Paso to see the choir perform at Shelanie's church and mostly to support our friends and see old friends :) It was a great time! What a full, uplifting weekend! Feeling really blessed tonight.

I hope you all make the time to have some good fellowship. It's so important and so wonderful when we can experience it to the fullest, appreciating all of the ways God is working in our lives.

Love you all.