Monday, February 27, 2012

Beyond The Fog.....

Click on the photo & try to see 
the 4 little ducks, the trees, 
the boat & the sky.

In the twelve years that I have lived in Michigan I have rarely experienced a foggy day. Yet when I lived in England, foggy days were as regular as the rain. This time last year, I was reminded of that fact as I stood on the banks of the River Dee, in Chester, England, my eyes straining to see what lay beyond the fog. I focused my camera on four little ducks as they paddled across the water, leaving only the merest suggestion of a ripple- but beyond that, there seemed to be nothing. Even using my best efforts, I could barely see the trees, the boat, the bridge or the beautiful sky. Even though I knew they were there, I could not see the beauty that lay beyond the fog.
When foggy days cloud our ministry, when even with our best efforts we cannot see what lies ahead for our children, let's focus instead on the One who is all seeing. We do not need to strain our eyes or worry about the future- God knows what is there...
and He can see the beauty that lies beyond the fog.
The Afters: Light Up The Sky

Monday, February 20, 2012

Time-lapse Ministry?

Earlier this week, a friend sent me a link to a beautiful video that uses time lapse photography to capture flowers as they open. This amazing technique allows us to see all the imperceptible changes that take place in the life of a flower...changes that would normally be invisible to us.

From tightly closed bud, to unfurling petals, to full blooming flower, the camera allows us to see what our human eyes cannot. Through that lens, we are able to witness a beautiful process with a beautiful result.

I think God works in a similar way. As we work in ministry we cannot see the invisible changes that are taking place in the lives of the children we serve. We cannot speed up time, like that camera does, in order to see the results that our ministry will have on one little life, years from now.

But God can see what our human eyes cannot, and God, not a camera, is in charge of that timing. We must just keep sowing those seeds, trusting that we are part of a beautiful process that will reap a beautiful result.

Take a moment to watch The Dance of The Flowers & allow yourself to think about who the children you serve might become.

Monday, February 13, 2012

The Scenic Route

My sweet little grandson lives a long, long, 900 miles away, in North Carolina. As often as we can, my husband and I travel from Michigan to see him. Our record time to complete that journey is about 14 hours. The first time we went, we raced there, totally focused on our goal, taking only 2 twenty minute stops, hurrying in and out of fast food restaurants and flying along the highway. However, the last time we went, we chose the scenic route...stopping off at a beautiful hotel on the way, taking in the scenery around us and admiring the beauty and winding roads of the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. It took us a lot longer that way, but we really enjoyed it more...and still reached our goal in the end. 
Having a goal, a vision, or a focus for our children's ministry is essential. Moving towards that goal is essential. But if we focus solely on the outcome, we might miss the beautiful scenery on the way. Enjoy your journey in children's ministry this year. As you travel toward your goal, take the scenic route. Don't miss the many blessings that God will have for you as you travel. You will still reach your goal in the end.
 Now you've got my feet on the life path, 
      all radiant from the shining of your face. 
   Ever since you took my hand, 
      I'm on the right way. Psalm 16 :11 The Message

Monday, February 6, 2012

Little Hands

Yesterday morning, I was commissioned as a Stephen Minister.

I stood at the front of the church, along with two other friends, and after listening to the liturgy, and responding appropriately, we were asked to turn and face the altar as hands were laid upon us...hands from the congregation that would send us out into the world to be a blessing to others.

It was truly a special moment for me...because the hands that commissioned us belonged not to adults, but to little children.

Several boys and girls, all of different ages, were invited to lay their hands on us as the pastor prayed. I could not see them, but I could feel their chubby little fingers on my back. I could hear their little whispers. I could sense Jesus.

What a privilege to be reminded that being involved in children's ministry is not really about me being able to bless children... but about Jesus, using little their hands, and their little whispers, to bless me. 

A little child will lead them. Isaiah 6:11