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Sunday, January 1, 2012

Run and Not Be Weary

Isaiah 40:28-31 (NLT)

"Have you never heard?
Have you never understood?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
the Creator of all the earth.
He never grows weak or weary.
No one can measure the depths of his understanding.
He gives power to the weak
and strength to the powerless.
Even youths will become weak and tired,
and young men will fall in exhaustion.
But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength.
They will soar high on wings like eagles.
They will run and not grow weary.
They will walk and not faint."

WANTED! New Strength!

Our executive pastor preached this Sunday. One of his points was passion. He did a great job. I thought about passion today. I thought about countless times I have spoken to anyone who passed by about God's love. I thought about the passion I have had to storm any hill God has called me to climb. No call from God too big or small... I will climb that hill!!! THEN, I thought about how tired I have been lately.

 I looked at the verse that said,  "no one can measure the depths of his understanding and that he gives power to the weak." God provides NEW STRENGTH. I need new strength for 2012. It seems I have been running up a hill for what seems a very long time. Oh, I see the top... it is just within reach! 

Move over work, trips to doctors, school events, sports events, house cleaning, life living strength draining day to day events. 

I am soaring on wings like Eagles this 2012!
I will run and not grow weary.
I am walking and not fainting!

How will I do it? Only through God. Do you want to have passion for God in 2012? I don't know about you but it seems when you reach your forties you don't feel "forty and sporty". You can feel "Nagy and hagy". Only God revives us and makes us do more than we ever could on our own. What does it start with? It starts with TRUST. 
Say this with me, "GOD IS BIGGER THAN MY PROBLEMS. HE IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN THE MOST PRECIOUS THINGS IN MY LIFE. I TRUST GOD WITH ALL OF THAT AND MORE." Passion starts with trusting in God and acknowledging that he is great and we are trusting a God whose understanding is deeper than we could ever conceive.  God is my rock! Take that weary... I have things to do.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Let's Thank God for 2011

Hey! Do you know how good God is? There is not enough Botox to erase the lines this year has made. I must admit that sometimes I forget God is there; always caring. Oh I never doubt his omnipresence (ever present), or his goodness, or that he loves me. It is just that I don't always stop to really think about how God has blessed me.

I mean, if you were to really ponder all you went through this year, would you see God at work? I do, and I am in awe of what He has done. Not because it has been easy. It hasn't, but everyday he made a way. He still does.

Do something with me today! Let's thank God together for specific moments in 2011. Our world , in general, has been hit hard this year. I don't have to tell you the problems (both worldly or personal). Those roll off our minds with ease. But today let's focus on God's provision in those tough times... and beyond.

We won't be thanking him for the same things. God would have none of that. He made us each with a special purpose. Each special purpose comes with it's own set of hard times. I hate hard times, and left on my own I might fixate on the hard times and not the blessings. But just for today... right now let's thank God for what He has done. Let us thank him for the WHATEVER's of our life. Those whatever moments make one persevere.  Let's get started:

1- Thank God for a time this year when he met a need in an unexpected way.

2- Thank God for a special person or people in your life. Thank God for the gift that relationship has given.

3- Thank God for an area of your life in which you feel convicted to change or improve. Like any parent, that conviction is there to make your life better.

4- Thank God for something that you specifically prayed for this year that has happened.

5- Thank God for _______________________ (something you feel the Holy Spirit leading). There is a reason the Holy Spirit is leading you, and won't it be fun (if you don't already know) to one day find out why you thanked God for that!?

You can continue thanking God or simply stop. Later you may need to ask God for your needs, but for awhile just stop! Stop and THINK about what you just THANKED God for during 2011. I believe it will make you strong to later ask for any needs you have. It makes us boldly realize God is in control!

Philippians 4:8  

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. 

 Psalm 150:6
Let everything that has breath praise the LORD. Praise the LORD.

Psalm 104:34
May my meditation be pleasing to him, as I rejoice in the LORD.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Jesus Was Born! Now what About The Presents?

Something crazy happened this year. Usually I pull my kazillion boxes of Christmas Goo out from our shed, and have the Christmas holiday explode upon our lawn, and in our home. No room goes untouched. To add to the drama, I am at Lowes on Black Friday grabbing free evergreen from their discard pile where they cut the real trees. I use it to decorate and bring that can't miss fresh smell of holiday cheer to the home. One of my favorite holiday traditions is putting out my village. Each year I try to get a new piece (big or small). I love looking at the wonder in my youngest child's eyes as he goes house by house and figure by figure making up stories and loving that small town. None of that was meant to be.

I just didn't feel like getting it all out this 2011. Oh we are still festive! We have our tree, stockings, a few select decorations, many poinsettias, and a big red tablecloth that screams "Merry Christmas". I am just in a "decor light" kind of mood. I took a pole, and several of my friends are sort of the same way. Maybe it is a San Marcos thing? So, light decorating CHECK! Now, what to do about gifts?

Gifts are a funny thing. One lady told me a few years back that she only gives her children three gifts because that is what the wise men brought Jesus. I thought that was a good idea. Then she went onto say, "... and that is why my little 'Billy' is only getting a Wii, a kayak, and some other hundreds of dollar gift (I can't remember)." I was thinking seven of my presents would barely equal one of yours! So that was out of the question.

Another friend had a great idea. She heard it on k-love this year. Give them something they want, something they need, something to wear, and something to read. I love it! It has become my knew chant! Well, I am sort of following that.

Money is super tight this year, and you know what? It wasn't because we didn't prepare. We are just in a tough time. It is just what we are walking through as our lives are in a transition of sorts. What do you think about the following quote?

"Do you relate poverty with evil and prosperity with good?... This false money belief can be very tempting because of the emphasis society places on the marriage of success and money. It is a rare person who does not immediately define success by using the word money. "
From:The Financially Confident Woman by Mary Hunt (pages 47 and 48)

Mary Hunt (the author of the above quote) is very smart with money, that is after she had been very dumb.
She has a lot of wise words. Mainly that money is a tool. It is not to be served, or sought for at any cost. You should be wise with money. Don't hate or love it. Don't build your self esteem on it. Take steps to be responsible with it. You are not to judge people by what they do or don't have. Instead see what they do with what they have. Even the widow got props for her two small coins.

Randy and  I are blessed with many things. Our family, friends, church,education, opportunities, community, and the list goes on and on and on... yet, we are in a tough time. God says to "consider it pure joy when you face trials of many kinds." So here it goes...
- thank you that we have a marriage that puts you in charge oh God

- thank you for four smart beautiful/cool NOT GREEDY children who are thankful for what they are given

- thank you that after Christmas I won't regret what we spent because spending in our budget, and tithing are non-negotiable items that help us sleep better at night

-thank you because I won't lie... I did worry... and what did you do LORD?!!! YOU PROVIDED. In the form of financial gifts from dear old friends who "just felt led"... you lead and care for your children Lord. I am and will always be amazed by what you do and how you lead others (including me)

- and I am thankful that baby Jesus was born...

Please don't get all theological on me. My husband would remind me that probably the birth of Jesus was more in the October range and that we celebrate the incarnation of Christ coming to earth as a man and not an actual birthday in December. Next he'll be telling me that the wise men showed up later! :)

Bottom line, Jesus was born and we get to celebrate that! Perhaps you think that is the best gift of Christmas? I gently disagree. The best gift is that baby grew up and died for my sins. I asked him to be The Lord and Savior of my life. God guides my steps. He led me to my husband, to this town, to ministry, to have and raise each precious child. He forgives, he challenges, and he provides. SALVATION... Best Gift EVER!


Luke 2: 1-20

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Do You Ever Get Angry?

Have you ever been angry? Like "in your anger... oh ya baby you are sinning?" It is the type of anger that is both not cool or Biblical. Anger can be a really tough thing. Righteous anger is soooooo much better. Here is the deal with righteous anger: 1) you know you are right 2) you have Biblical scripture to stand on and 3) you handle said anger in a God honoring way. Many times righteous anger pops up when you see an injustice done to someone or something else or to the Lord. Certainly there are times that righteous anger comes about when it is personal... but that is where it can get a bit tricky.

Being hurt can cloud our thought process. We can know and believe that God never leaves us or forsakes us, but that waiting for a clear direction can give us all sorts of time to have eight conversations with ourselves eight different ways, and not one of them will give us the peace we seek.

Peace is NOT overrated. Christ said, "My peace I give to you. Not as the world gives peace." ..."Oh Lord, I understand that, but if you want to lead me by still waters... in Hawaii that is okay!" Our hurt clouds that righteous anger and many storms of pain and confusion rise up. Anger of an unholy sort pops up.  Here is the deal with UNholy anger 1) you know you are right with a BUT (i.e. I may have spoke truth harshly but they were so mean) 2) you may be right BUT you can't stand on scripture because your heart is filled with rage and 3) you handle that anger in a Not God honoring way.

Pre-king David was right at the edge of anger. Would it be righteous anger or just your run of the mill ugliness? He was overwhelmed! King Saul was hunting him down for being more popular than he was. So where does he run? To Gath... the hometown of Goliath. The good news it that King Saul would never look for him there. The bad news is everyone else in the town was looking for him for killing their town hero. David was found out and in order to escape he acted like he was mentally ill. He spit on himself and had a disturbed look with actions to match. They thought he was mad and let him go.

I wonder if David, in a quiet moment, thought about how he went from the greatest man of faith to the guy who drooled on himself in public? How did he get there? Listen to what David wrote at a time of feeling greatly overwhelmed:

Psalm 56
 1 Be merciful to me, my God,
   for my enemies are in hot pursuit;
   all day long they press their attack.
2 My adversaries pursue me all day long;
   in their pride many are attacking me.
 3 When I am afraid, I put my trust in you.
 4 In God, whose word I praise—
in God I trust and am not afraid.
   What can mere mortals do to me?
 5 All day long they twist my words;
   all their schemes are for my ruin.
6 They conspire, they lurk,
   they watch my steps,
   hoping to take my life.
7 Because of their wickedness do not let them escape;
   in your anger, God, bring the nations down.
 8 Record my misery;
   list my tears on your scroll—
   are they not in your record?
9 Then my enemies will turn back
   when I call for help.
   By this I will know that God is for me.
 10 In God, whose word I praise,
   in the LORD, whose word I praise—
11 in God I trust and am not afraid.
   What can man do to me?
 12 I am under vows to you, my God;
   I will present my thank offerings to you.
13 For you have delivered me from death
   and my feet from stumbling,
that I may walk before God
   in the light of life.

I am sure mixed in that misery was anger. Feeling alone and overwhelmed  David went to God; which is the first place anyone should go. One of my favorite verses in this Psalm is verse 8
 "8 Record my misery;
   list my tears on your scroll—
   are they not in your record?"
When I read it I feel like David is begging God  to notice his pain! Notice me God... write it down... is it in your record?!!!

There are no emails from God, or clear signs until God sees fit to show them. But make no mistake God sees your pain. He sees our faithfulness, our pain, our needs. Hurt, and sadness are a part of life. Anger is a byproduct of holding that pain. Dear one, you... and I are not meant to hold that pain.

David's problems were not over by the end of the Psalm. He was still running for his life. Later we know he became king and guess what... he still struggled at times. Yet David writes toward the end this psalm:
"11 in God I trust and am not afraid.
   What can man do to me?"

David lived boldly.  Not always because he wanted to, but because the option of not living in faith was to relent and declare this is too big for God. It was a choice to either give into the forces surrounding him or hold to the faith within him. We are at war my friends. Hard times come. Don't let anger roll over you and create chaos.

What do you need to give to God? He is recording your tears... he hears you. He will answer.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

The Fearless, Living Life


(John Maxwell is a christian speaker author, and pastor that has written over 60 books primarily about leadership)

 The title I gave is a bit of a lie. Actually anyone who tries something will have some fear. The difference is they do not let fear control them. New things can be scary. You know what is more scary? Wasting away. New doesn't have to be grandiose, it just has to be led by God (one step at a time).

 I hope you live boldly today. Seek God and go where he leads. He has made you special. Don't let fear, or money, or any numerous circumstances stop you from being who God has called you to become in him. Be the Entrepreneur God has called you to be. TRY - FAIL- AND TRY AGAIN.

Change, even for the better can be scary. It may not even seem better for a while. However, small steps with God leading is so much better than no steps and the Holy Spirit pleading for you to move and live through Christ. "I don't exactly know" is just an excuse disguised as an anchor that gives you the right to not try. TRY, LIVE. If cleaning your house today, or writing one note is your best today; do your best and give God the glory. If your best is not putting off one more day where God is leading, GO! The company he is calling you to start, the love you need to show, the faith you need to have doesn't need to look like a fortune five hundred moment today, or even in the tomorrows. Yet, if you seek God and do a little each day it will be something. Something is so much better than "one day I wish." Stop wishing and start praying and put feet to where God is leading.

"For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control." (2 Timothy 1:7)

"I can do everything through him who gives me strength."  (Philippians 4:13)       

"I hope in the Lord, I seek him and he is good to me." (Lamentations 3:25)

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

On Being Bi-Vocational, a peek behind the curtain

My husband and I have been in ministry for over 19 years. For many of those years we were paid a full time salary by the church. Recently within the past year this has not been the case.

My husband is now BI-VOCATIONAL. For those of you who don't know what bi-vocational means it is Greek for "Works twice as hard and gets paid twice as less." I joke. 4 kids, insurance we now pay for, and a myriad of other changes has found me rocking in the corner at times. What's more my husband started his own business. That is where we are trying to get the majority of our income. Yes it allows him to minister, but it is hard work and long hours. So, we get some of our pay from the church and make the majority up through his job and my small jobs as we raise 4 children.

Being bi-vocational has brought with it a slue of emotions. I remember when I was at OBU and a lady came to talk about how she and her husband were bi-vocational. She said they were glad they did not rely on the church for financial support. It freed them in a sense to minister in a different way. Their pay check did not hold them to where or how they ministered. 20 year old Debbie poo-pooed that notion. After all... I was called by GOD and all godly people called by GOD in the 80's were full time... not like those bi-vocational losers.

Flash forward to my life today and I am prostrate on the ground thanking God that Randy has not only an M-Div from seminary, but a computer programming degree from Texas A&M. I have a few things in the works as we grow in this new field of being bi-vocational.

There are a few things I think you should know if you are in the ministry. Whether you plan to be bi-vocational or not these are powerful points that you would do well to adhere to in your life.

POINT #1: Dave Ramsey is right. Save and get rid of debt. These past months our account has been like a magic trick... watch it disappear! Yet, I am so grateful we had a cushion. The rainy day came and while our umbrella wasn't super big we all squished together and are ridding out the storm there. Get your finances in order. Not being prepared financially is like never planning out your sermon and just showing up to speak. For the most part God likes it when we are prepared. Be financially prepared. 

POINT #2: Aquire various skills. If I could I would jump in my time machine and go back to 1989 and shake young Debbie's shoulders and say, "Get multiple job skills... oh yes and don't date. Your husband is totally worth the wait!" A few years ago I got a sobering post card in the mail. It was from Buckner's Home. That is a place in Dallas Texas. It is a children's home, and it also has a retirement home on site. The post card read, "Adopt a Retired Senior Pastor and Wife." The  post card went onto say that many of that generation lived in parsonages and when they retired they had no home and no savings. These godly people were in effect refugees.  They had to leave the land of the provided home and now find their own way. I do not want to be a refugee when I retire. Having other skills gives you options. You could fix up homes, or use your degree for a part time income. You could create a new income using new skills. God is not a one trick wonder. Yes, he made you special and for a purpose... kind of like Paul. Paul not only preached but he made a separate living. He advocated for others to be paid for full time ministry. For him, it just wasn't that way. Using other skills grows your portfolio and brings peace of mind. We may one day go back to full time ministry. I would like that. However, this experience is teaching us faith and doing life in a whole new way.

POINT #3: Being bi-vocational makes you one of  "the peeps." Who has always tithed? That would be my husband and me. We would talk about it and share how we firmly agree with scripture that tithing is a spiritual act of worship. At times I had the feeling that people felt we had to say that. After all where did our income come from? GOD IS THE ANSWER, but others would say the tithe. Like it wasn't financially hard back then... it was! Money has always been tight (although I sure miss the insurance plan). We have four kids! Now we tithe just like we always have, but to me we talk about tithing with more authority in the eyes of our church. There are many days Randy works from the morning till late at night. He sneaks in his dad time, his wife time amidst his Quiet time, church time, and civic/fun time. I appreciate the sacrifices working folk make to be a part of this church and they appreciate the sacrifices we (always working but now in a new way) make as we lead and work.It doesn't make me think twice about being in a Life Group (Bible Study). It just makes me appreciate the pizza someone bought (because they had no time) to set next to the dessert I bought (same reason)!

FINAL POINT: Being bi-vocational is not glamorous. It is the hardest, scariest thing we have ever done. We only do it because we know God has us here for a reason. PRAYER and FAITH are the main ingredients to being bi-vocational. We could have left and gone somewhere else for full pay. God has us here. God is making a new way. I would say it is harder than planting a church... and I have done both.The only reason one should be bi-vocational is because God is leading in that area. However, everyone (in my opinion) should have bi-vocational tendencies. Having other sources of income, and saving, free ministers from ever feeling stuck. If God called you somewhere would you / could you go? God always provides, but what if he provided by giving you a skill to help provide. That is what he did with Paul (and Aquila and Priscilla).

Most of the time God requires more from us than we are able to do alone. Work hard, but rest hard too. If you are bi-vocational or in full time vocational ministry, God will make a way. Just make sure faith is number one on your check list for anything you do.

“Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and your plans will succeed.”  Pr 16:3

Acts 18:1-4  "1 After this, Paul left Athens and went to Corinth. 2 There he met a Jew named Aquila, a native of Pontus, who had recently come from Italy with his wife Priscilla, because Claudius had ordered all Jews to leave Rome. Paul went to see them, 3 and because he was a tentmaker as they were, he stayed and worked with them. 4 Every Sabbath he reasoned in the synagogue, trying to persuade Jews and Greeks."

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

The Pastor's Wife and a Dirty Little Secret

I was at a conference a year ago and I met a pastor. We talked about ministry and the subject of women married to pastors came up. He was very quiet as he listened to me talk about the subject. There was a sadness in his eyes and a quietness in his voice as he said, "My wife isn't involved much at the church anymore... I think she was just hurt one to many times." I told him I was sorry that she was hurt, and we talked and I prayed for her later that night.

A few days ago I was at Loews and I ran into some friends. The husband preaches at another church in town, and they are newly married. His wife said it has been interesting (that is code for foreign being a pastor's wife and hard at times) to fit into the pastor's wife "role". We all had a good talk, and the husband thanked me for encouraging her to be strong and to live her faith months ago.

Here we have two women who, in my opinion, represent a pretty healthy group of pastor's wives. You have wives who are involved in ministry and some that aren't. There are various types of involvement, and I think God leads where and when someone should serve. However, I want to caution you about a dirty little secret that we don't always talk about.

Sometimes wives are just busy. They are working a full time job, or meeting various needs that have them for a time serving light at church. Unfortunately, there are some that quit serving all together because someone(s) or something(s) seemed too painful. It was a real I'll take my toys and go home moment for the wife.I would like to say a sympathetic "I feel ya dog" at this juncture. 19 years in wedded bliss and blisters and I understand that sometimes in the body of Christ you don't feel like and eye or a hand, but a bruise that people keep poking. In fact your hiatus may even be in the name of your husband because you can't stand "those people" (those people usually meaning less than five) treating him like that.

So what's the dirty little secret? Sadly, it is that some pastor's wives quit serving their Lord and Savior because they have been hurt. The pastor wife stays away and nurses those hurts, and amazingly church goes on even though others wonder where she is. She is stuck in her hurts and life moves on, except for her. I believe that isn't even the worst secret. Compassionately I say the worst is that she just allowed others to squelch what she was made for (ministry). She is making a choice to say I will base my ministry on the opinion of others.

I know that sounds harsh. People were mean to her and I want her to stay? You know this isn't just pastor's wives. Throughout the years I've seen good people... great people have ministries and at the point that it became rough they fled to either another church or into a nothingness that wrote their time with God somewhere between trying line dancing and taking up a hobby. It is a dirty secret because it is a lie from Satan that stops God's leaders from succeeding.

Look, I am never going to say you have to be abused emotionally, but I am always going to say YOUR MINISTRY IS WORTH FIGHTING FOR! Perhaps these five tips might help you when you feel like opening up the exit door and sliding onto the tarmac and walking away.

1- You are a child of The Most High. Don't you ever for one second think you are any less. When people have gossiped about me, and they have, it has hurt. Mainly, I think, "Who cares?!" I'll tell you what, if they are reaching the lost, and loving everyone (including me) like they should then perhaps I should worry. Until then there is only one I need to please; my Father in heaven. His agenda is usually met with question marks and concern by those who are not able to understand that God's boundaries have no end. For a time my husband felt led to have a worship time at night in a bar for college kids. People were saved and those who came from that type of lifestyle were excited to be a part. Imagine my surprise when I went to a local coffee house and heard two strangers at a table next to me saying, "I get what he wants to do but church in a bar... he has gone too far!" These men didn't go to my church. I said, "I don't know it isn't so bad." They replied. Really... why?" I said, "Well Jesus went to places like a tax collector's home and a well shared by Samaritans (woman even) to share the love of God. But if you want to know more you should really ask my husband... he is THE PASTOR OF THAT CHURCH (smile)." They turned pale and left. There is more to that "funny now" story, but the bottom line is this WE ARE HERE TO PLEASE GOD ... PERIOD! Are you ministering? Good! Then keep it up, it is not for man but God to lead.

 2- The old saying is true, "WE ARE ONE GENERATION AWAY FROM CHRISTIANITY BECOMING EXTINCT IF WE DO NOT SHARE THE LOVE OF CHRIST." What is one more soul anyway? I mean you've done your part and no one said thank you. Besides, what and who does baby watching, toilet cleaning, and all day 'Sundaying' really help? Everyone else is busy. Hey you are busy! So, let someone else do it! You are done being thanklessly taken for granted! Gently I say it isn't just baby watching! It is loving on a family by allowing new parents to be still for 45 minutes and really hear from God. It is potentially rewriting a child's future through 1 hour of service. It isn't just toilet cleaning. It is making sure God's house says HELLO and not WHO CARES SO WHY SHOULD YOU to new visitors. And it isn't all day 'Sundaying'. It is a personal stand for Christ that says, "for me and my house, we will serve the Lord     (Joshua 24:15)." And by the way God doesn't rely on you he replies through you. What is one more soul anyway? ANSWER: Everything to that one more soul.

3- VISION IS DANGEROUS. You aren't there to please others. I know that sounds crazy and yes "a gentle answer turns away wrath (Proverbs 15:1)." So I'm not saying up their nose with a rubber hose. I am saying faith is personal. My experience is ten times out of ten God will ask more of you than you can do yourself. When people tell me crazy stuff like I want to start a ministry for dog owners who make their own dog snacks. I try really hard not to process their Holy Spirit moment through my own filter. My filter says, "That will never work." But God's filter says, "I am already working through that person to whom I gave the vision." Don't let anyone steal or make fun of where God is leading.

4- PRAY HARD because Big Girl Panties are better than diapers :)- "For God has not given you a spirit of fear but a spirit of power, and of love, and of self-control (2 Timothy 1:7)." How many friends do you speak with from High School? Probably the answer is some to none. You don't base your life on the head cheerleader's thoughts anymore so why continue pleasing people in your present life if it means not pleasing God? Who are your life long friends? I have a lot of close friends. By a lot of life long friends I mean a handful plus a few more. These are friends I have met at various places and stages of my life. Why are they super close? They are my prayer warrior sisters in Christ. They have seen the good, the bad, and the ugly and still call me friend (and I them). Big girl panties are meant for those who try. They are for those who understand that God has given them a spirit of power through him, and just as powerful love and the self control it takes to be strong even when it is hard. It is about seeing it through. Diapers are for those who make a mess and expect others to clean it up. Never allow yourself to be reduced in your ministry by anyone; especially those wearing spiritual diapers. My friends help me in times of my greatest needs. Sometimes I don't even feel I can go on but I know I should. Prayers put the power back into the hands of God. You need someone/ many praying for you. Make sure you bathe your life in prayer. It makes the phrase "nothing is impossible with God" possible.

5- Bottom Line, YOU MATTER! You are special, loved by God, washed in the blood of forgiveness through Christ's redeeming act of dying on the cross for your sin and rising again. He made a way where there seemed to be no way for you AND HE STILL DOES. He never promised that it would always be easy, but always promises to ease what is going on by having you take his yoke upon you (Matthew 20:11). GIRL! Why would you ever give anyone the power (including yourself) to exclude you from a life lived for God? And I hate to brake it to you, but ministry isn't just ministry. It is a spiritual act of worship that without it takes our love for Christ and reduces us to words. If you told your loved ones for one month you loved them, but didn't hug them or help them, what would they say about that love? You matter! A big part of who we are should always be a daily walk with God in every way. Let go and let God fully impact you even when "those mean people" hurt your feelings. You'll find when you make God's will a priority, other things just don't seem to phase you.

Deuteronomy 31:6 "Be strong and courageous, do not be afraid or tremble at them, for the LORD your God is the one who goes with you. He will not fail you or forsake you." (NASB)