Kris Mares

Just a woman trying to love Jesus and others a little bit more…

The Funny Thing About God October 21, 2015

Filed under: Ministry — Kris @ 1:02 pm
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When God calls you to something, a funny thing happens. Not funny haha, more like funny interesting/odd. You see, for sometime, I have felt God’s nudging in a particular ministry area. Since I’m not really sure how to go about it, I’m not doing anything about it. Yet time and time again I feel God’s nudging in this particular area. Recently I was at a leadership development training and I felt the nudge again.

As a part of the training, we were to list what we felt God calling us to do, the things that stand in the way of us doing it, and then a few small steps that we could take to move forward. So I did. One of those steps was to lessen the times I spend with like-minded friends and to increase the times I spend with people who are different from me. So, I committed to joining my like-minded clergy group lunch twice a month and to try to meet with people – some who are clergy – who are different from me. They may be different because of their religious association, because of their income level, because of their skin color, because of their sexual orientation, because of their _______ (you fill in the blank). In an effort to build relationships, listen to experiences and be present in the world, I need to spend time with the “other,” those different from me.

So, this was my first week to try to schedule that. Last week, I made some contacts and nothing came to fruition. Instead of meeting with the “other,” I visited some church folk and went to the library to catch up on some note writing and study reading.

And then a funny thing happened.

I had conversations with two people who are different from me. Both were African-American men – one older, one younger. They came up to me separately and for different reasons. At first, I’ll admit, I was annoyed that my “work” was being interrupted. But we chatted about school, about fast food work, about how rude people can be, about God’s goodness and doing everything in service to the Lord.

As I left the library, it hit me. As I got in my car, I realized what had just happened during that time slot I had planned for “other” conversations but didn’t get anything scheduled so I tried to do some other work instead.

That’s the funny thing about God. When God calls us to something, God will help us make it happen. Even when our efforts fail, if it is God ordained, God will provide a way.

So that thing you feel you need to do but don’t know how? That change you need to make but it seems too scary? That leap you need to make but you don’t want to fail? Say yes, do your part and see how all things work together for the Glory of God.

And pray. I will be in prayer for this thing God is calling me into. I will be in prayer for the men I met. Will you pray for them too? Mr. V’s education and Mr. J’s employment.

And will you pray for me? God may just be up to something funny and I want you to be a part of it too.

 

Fasting December 15, 2010

Filed under: Ministry — Kris @ 2:01 pm
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Today, some friends and I are fasting.  While some are doing a full fast (water only), some are doing a juice only fast and some, because of medical reasons, are giving up other loved activities instead of food.  Because I am nursing the baby, I have given up all “fun food” today – sweets, snacks, hot chocolate, coffee and other stuff I love to eat.  Just basic meals so that I can continue to feed my baby well.

Why are we fasting?  During this 24 hours, we are focusing in prayer for our spouses, our children, our homes,  our finances.  We are petitioning God, asking for direction, wisdom, courage, strength, peace, resolution and any number of needs.  What am I finding?  Peace.

As I’m going about my day – changing diapers, fixing lunch, vacuuming, mopping, getting the mail – I am thanking God for the ability to do these things and the ways that He has provided for my family and my friends’ families.  As I know of specific areas of need, I share those with God as well.  He already knows what I’m talking about; I’m simply giving God my heart’s hurts, joys and desires.  I’m having an intimate conversation with my Creator.

But why fast in it all?  Why give something up?  We certainly don’t have to fast in order to pray.  Fasting is simply a type of spiritual discipline.  It is a sacrifice that we are giving – sort of like the animal sacrifices of the Old Testament.  It is a sacrifice that often helps us remember the ultimate sacrifice of Jesus at the Cross.  And each time we would normally “partake” in the food/activity/offering, we instead are to spend that time in prayer.  So each time today I think about going to grab a chocolate chip cookie ( or 2 or 3 or…) from the batch I made yesterday, I then should take a moment to instead, talk with and listen to God.

So what am I hearing today?  For me, this is the important question.  I have been struggling to hear God for sometime.  There is a lesson about submission I’m learning in that, but today, I am hearing clearly that God’s got it.  That job situation a friend is worried about?  God’s got it.  The house stuff Racer and I are dealing with?  God’s got it?  The spouse issues another friend struggles with?  God’s got it.  The kid worries?  God’s got it.

But in that promise, has been a condition.  First comes our trust and obedience.  We have to TRUST that God’s got it.  And then, we have to be obedient to His life for us.  When we trust in obedience is when we see the beauty of how God works it all out.  When we aren’t obedient, we see the mess of when we try to work it out.  Trust and obedience are key. 

That’s pretty major.  It’s like a promise with a condition:  “IF you clean your room, THEN you can go to your friend’s house.”  IF we trust and obey, THEN God will work it all out in His beautiful, perfect way.  No pressure huh?  Good news is, God won’t ask us to do anything He’s not gonna equip us to do.  It’s like giving a kid time, the vacuum, the spray, the paper towels, the clothes basket, the toy bins – all she needs to clean and organize the room.  Instead, the kids uses all that to make a robot that will hopefully do the cleaning.

So today, as I continue to pray, I’ll be asking God to reveal to me what I’m doing with the tools He’s giving me.  (I’m asking the same for my friends too.)  Am I being obedient?  Or am I making a robot?

How about you?  How is your trust and obedience?  What have you been making with His tools lately?

Edited to Add:  Right at 7pm, when we were ending our time of fasting, a friend got a positive call regarding a housing issue we were praying about.  God’s timing is perfect!

 

 
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