Fill It Up!

There is an old hymn that goes something like this…

overflow2

voiceofoc.org

 

Fill my cup, Lord;
I lift it up Lord;
Come and quench this thirsting of my soul.
Bread of Heaven, feed me till I want no more.
Fill my cup, fill it up and make me whole.         –  Richard Blanchard

 

If we expect to be able to reach out and help others, to pour out to others, we must continually be filled up by Him. If we’re running on empty, it’s going to show in our attitudes, in our words and even in our thoughts, which, eventually, always work their way into our words. This is why so many Christians find themselves worn out and burnout in “doing the work for the Lord. This is, also, why so many non-Christians find themselves walking away from grouchy, don’t-want-to-smile-at-you-but-I’ll-give-you-food church goers.

This isn’t to validate those naysayers who just want to fuss about “Christians-hypocrites who don’t share the love of Christ,” because, from where I stand, there are way too many good men and women who love Jesus to even give credence to that kind of nonsense. However, I have found that well meaning Christians can get to the point of burnout and bad attitudes when they aren’t getting filled back up when they’ve given time to a ministry.

We have to work from the overflow. You see, we are like a conduit through which the Lord flows, and when we stop getting filled, it’s as if we shut off His flow and try to continue on our own. Our strength is only so strong. Our faith is only so faithful. Our diligence is only so diligent, and that is because we are only human. We are not God. From God, all blessings flow. In God is found all the love, mercy, hope, joy, and everything the world is looking for. Through God, we have all the strength, faithfulness, and dedication we could ever need.

When we allow Him to pour into us and through us, all this world needs comes gushing out. Let Him fill your cup to overflowing today; so, it might “gush all over” those around you and to whom you minister.

 

overflow

marlonikkila.com

 

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A Note of Thanks

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“Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: 
If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls
and has no one to help them up…. Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.”
Ecclesiastes 4:9-10, 12
Yesterday was our Staff Appreciation, and I, personally, just have to give a note of thanks. I think we have the best pastoral staff on the planet! Now, I know. You don’t work with them; so, some of you might like to argue that your personal team is better, or some could argue that they “can’t be the best, because no team can be a ‘dream team’,” and that’s ok; you are entitled to your own opinion. However, from where I stand, we couldn’t ask for better.
First and foremost, they love God with all their hearts. Each one of them, in their own way, portray their love for God in the way they speak, the way they teach or preach, in the way they carry themselves on and off “the stage,” and even in the way they treat each other. They are gracious, honorable, full of integrity, servant-minded, and deep of character. They are never competitive, slanderous or spiteful toward one another. They are always seeking to be better Christians, better husbands or wives and better influences to those around them.  I have worked alongside each of them for the last 3 1/2 years here, as well as, for some of them, much longer, and I am a witness to their depth of Christ-like characters and servant-minded lifestyles. They may not always be what everyone expects them to be, nor do they always react in the most “pristine, perfect, superhuman” fashion that some may believe they should, because they are, after all, still very human.  However, I will say that each of them is the most humble individual I have ever met, and they seek with all their hearts to be closer to God while they serve in the ministry to which He has called them.
There are so many qualities they possess, it would take me all day to list each of them, but I have to say, one of the most valuable characteristics they give to our team (aside from loving God, of course!) is they truly love my husband and our family. This is such an important asset to the unity of this team, and I, as a pastor’s wife, am so appreciative. Honestly, it brings tears to my eyes when I think about the graciousness with which they treat my husband, our boys and me. You just don’t find this with every staff dynamic, and we have not always found this to be 100% true everywhere we have been.
Let me share a little of what I mean…
Sometimes, I watch their eyes as my husband challenges them with a new idea, or maybe even a needed rebuke, during a staff meeting. I hear their words of comradery and encouragement to our oldest as he walks into one of their offices and their tone of warmth and acceptance to our youngest, even when they might have better things to be getting accomplished. I see when they go the extra mile to make an adjustment that their pastor has suggested, even when they might not yet completely understand or be incredibly enthused about.  I have even caught a glimpse of their sincerity when they have encountered someone with ill intentions toward me, my husband or our family, as they speak words of admonishment and confrontation to that individual.  These are just a few of the acts of kindness which each of them shows to my family day in and day out, and these are the things which make me love them like family.
Rest assured, these members of our pastoral staff whom we celebrated yesterday are not simply employees of our church nor are they just plain co-workers who ‘pitch in to get a job done.’  They are each a part of, what I choose to call, a great “dream team” helping my husband to be a better pastor, and our church to be a better Body of Christ for the betterment of God’s Kingdom. They and their spouses are a true blessing to us, and I am thankful to have them and to consider them friends, as well as, staff members. These words don’t seem quite adequate today, but I’d like to say, “THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart. I love you guys!” ❤
*Note: I do not own, nor do I possess, this picture. Found it simply through Google and sharefaith.com.*

Power of Reflected Light

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The lighthouse has such a powerful light which shines across the sea; however, it’s actually not because of a particularly bright light bulb. Rather, it is because of the mirrors in place which cause the reflected light to shine brightly into darkness.

Just as a lighthouse is not bright simply because of a powerful light, a person cannot truly be strong simply because of his or her own strength, and a church cannot be strong simply because of a good program, a popular song service or even a great man behind the pulpit. When founded in Christ, the only true strength is when we reflect the praise we receive upon those with whom we are joined to minist, and reach those who are lost.

When the church body, the leadership, and the pastor are constantly reflecting upon each other all the light that is brought upon them, and especially when they are reflecting that light upon Jesus, the strength of that is enforced and brightened beyond imagination. We, as Christians, have too often, gotten into competitive relays with each other, always trying to better ourselves for the sake of gaining numbers, or taking them from another body of believers, rather than, bettering ourselves for the sake of our Christian walk and lifting Him up so that He might draw them to Himself. We’ve worked too hard to soak up the spotlight which has been show upon us rather than reflected that light upon those around us and upon Christ. Let us each learn a lesson from the beautiful lighthouse!

The power of reflected praise: Any praise you get should be reflected onto someone else! The church grows stronger by the power of reflected light!

*note: I did not take this picture, nor do I own this picture. Simply taken from google search. 😉