How difficult is it for you to admit your needs? What are the three greatest needs in your life right now? Who knows about them? What keeps you from sharing them with more people who care about you? What keeps you from turning them over to God?
I think that I am very good about admitting my needs. In fact, I think I may be too “good” at that, so that people don’t want to hear about it.
3 greatest needs:
a full-time job so I can send my sons to college and help R pursue his dreams
friends here in Houston
way to serve at my church
Who knows about them? Job: the people I applied for jobs from, my friends I asked to pray for me. Friends: my husband, my friends other places. Way to serve: my husband, the church I’ve now tried to volunteer to work at two different times.
What keeps me from sharing? Nothing.
What keeps me from turning them over to God? Pray as if it all depended on Him; work as if it all depended on you. That’s what I’ve been doing.
I admit my need. God is the only one who can lead me in the right direction. I need some neon signs, I guess. (Although no job interviews may be the neon signs on that first one.)
God asks what we have before he works a miracle in our lives.
I’d be here for the next month if I started listing everything I have.
I have the ability to write well. I have my blogs. I have a husband who loves me. I have two wonderful talented teenage sons. I have three part-time teaching jobs. I have years of experience teaching preschool, elementary, junior high, high school, college, and adults. (Btw, I know that jr high and hs are not my gifts. I have had plenty of experience with them though.) I have a love for teaching. I have the ability to be a good listener. I have strong friendships with five women across the country. I have five or six other friends who are there for me as they can be. I have experience on a hiring committee. I have a love for and amazing ability to read. I have extended family who love me. I am an aunt with three little nieces and nephews who think Aunt Suzi hung the moon.
I have a beautiful house in a wonderful neighborhood on a safe and quiet culdesac. I have a large yard. I have three cars all of which run and have good tires on them and look nice. I have beautiful paintings I’ve purchased over the years. I have a small collection of blue Depression glass. I have two almost new leather couches and two old ones. I have a wonderful funky comfortable bright blue chair. I have a comfortable weird-leopard-print chaise lounge. I have three televisions. (Two are plugged in; only one gets reception.)
I have experience as a missionary. I have traveled on several continents in the world. I spent many weekends in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC. I have a bachelor’s, a master’s, and a doctorate. I have graduate coursework in communication and business, outside of my degrees.
I have experience teaching little kids in church in four states. I have experience teaching high school students in two states and four places. I have experience teaching church classes for about twenty years, all different ages. I have been in the AG, Baptist, and Church of Christ denominations in my lifetime.
I have friends who are missionaries in Thailand and Uganda whom I actually keep up with. I have enough extra money that I can send it to my friend in Uganda whose home just burnt to the ground. I have been to Brazil, Thailand, and Switzerland on mission trips.
I have a lot of really amazing things in my life. Thank you, God.
God had already given this woman the beginnings of her miracle; she just didn’t recognize it.
Okay, God. Am I not seeing it?
How is seeking God’s perspective more than simply looking for the silver lining?
God tells us to look at the little bit we have and let him multiply it. He wants the glory; he wants the credit.
Describe a time in your life when you experienced or witnessed one of God’s miracles.
My niece G swallowed poop before she was born and was in NICU as a newborn. She is alive and well and as chipper a little girl as the world could want, with honey gold curls and the stubbornness of both her parents.
My son M was without oxygen for eleven minutes at his birth; he was born black; he had to be totally resuscitated. He does not have any lingering health problems. He is brilliant. He is alive and loving God.
My son E was born after I filled a bucket overflowing with blood. He is perfectly healthy and smart as all get out, in math even.
I expected to die during E’s birth because I was allergic to the normal anesthetic, but God was gracious and they didn’t use that kind.
I was told that my husband R was going to die. They had tried everything they knew and the flu and pneumonia was not responding to any of the strong course of drugs that they had tried. They had given up. But a low level antibiotic (and God) brought him home to us.
My husband and I quit our jobs and moved to North Carolina because we thought that was where God wanted us to be. He blessed my husband with a job and allowed me to stay home with my boys.
My husband wanted to move back to Texas. He got a job offer and we moved.
My husband decided he wanted to move back to his hometown. Even though Houston is not a computer town, he found a job here. When the dot com bust came and he lost his job, he found another that kept him here in town. (God is faithful.)
My father was three months old and dying of pneumonia before antibiotics. The doctor poked a knife through his lung, drained out the pus, sewed him back up, and he lived to become a four time father.
My grandfather was dying. They said he had at most a week to live. He had cancer EVERYWHERE except his heart and lungs. God answered our prayers and he was healed and was with us for eight more years.
My MIL had ovarian cancer at 15 (50+ years ago) and lived through it. She had kidney disease (40+ years ago) and lived through it. She had horrible, awful debilitating back pain and multiple back surgeries and has continued with horrible debilitating pain (for 30+ years). She had breast cancer (5+ years ago) and suffered for two years with recurrent bouts of pneumonia from the radiation burns on her lungs. She is still alive. She’d tell you God has a sense of humor.
I have seen many more amazing miracles in the lives of my family and friends. These are just the ones I thought of right of the top of my head.
Think about one of your greatest needs right now. What resources do you have with which God can begin to work? Take stock of your life, and don’t overlook the little bit of oil you have that may not seem directly related to your need.
Hmmm… Job: done that as much as I know how to do. Friends: again, I’ve pretty much done that as much as I know how to do. Church: I’m still praying and working on that. This weekend at Innovative Impact was part of that “little bit of oil” attempt.
Make a list of “empty vessels” in your life right now–people around you who need your input, resources, love, and attention. Whose need seems most urgent? Pray for God’s leading and look for a way to pour yourself into this person’s life this week.
L- now that Michelle has gone to college, she’s alone a lot more.
R- with two autistic sons she is often isolated.
LS- with a dead uncle, an alcoholic mother, and the responsibility for her family, she’s in the most need. But she is also my student, so I am not sure what I can do for her. Certainly I can continue to pray. I emailed her while she was at the funeral. I have talked to her.
A- her mother died. I took a make-supper kit over to her so she could just open cans and pour it together, including dessert. I also gave her this book. (So Pastor, if you see this, know your book is going out into the community.)