"Sometimes while I'm talking to God, He'll show me something about myself in such a way that I have to laugh at my own humanity and how funny I must look to Him." - Donna

Donna...just found your blog...I absolutely love it! And I love your singing! I'm at work right now and it was just exactly what I needed to hear to help me make it through tonight! Thanks for your ministry here!
- Robert

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Wednesday, June 15, 2005

The Privilege of Ministering

So he told them, "Every student of the Scriptures who becomes a disciple in the kingdom of heaven is like someone who brings out new and old treasures from the storeroom. (Matthew 13:52 cev)

Earlier this week, the doorbell rang. Since both my son and I expected packages, we raced to the door to see what the UPS man had left on the front porch. "Yes!" I snatched up the package with my name on it.

I carried it into the kitchen, laid it on the countertop, and ripped it open. After I pushed the paper wrapping aside, I pulled out the textbook and study guide for my latest college class. I clutched the book to my chest, and said, "I can't wait to get started on this."

Both my son and daughter looked at me like I'd grown a gigantic third eyeball. One of them said, "Oh, Mom. You are such a geek."

"I know!" I laughed. "And that's one good thing about getting older. I don't care."

I yearn to learn. I admit it. When I attended high school, I actually liked the challenge. Of course, I never made such a confession then. It wasn't 'cool' to like school. Right?

But now I realize what a privilege it is, not only to read, research, and learn, but to read, research, learn, AND write! Prior to 1456, when the first Bible was produced on a printing press, all manuscripts of the Bible were laboriouly copied by hand. These days, you probably have a dusty copy of the Bible some place in your home. We have an entire shelf in our bookcase dedicated to all the different versions of the Bible. I have such great admiration for those who wrote my textbooks and study guides - much more so now that I know the amount of hard work that can go into writing a 400 word devotional or a 1200 word article!

When I'm doing research, I have the entire internet at my disposal. I can read any version I want, and listen to it being read to me if I desire. I can find numerous Bible commentaries, and countless sites with Biblical teaching.

I heard the other day that even the shyest person among us will impact at least 10,000 people over the course of his or her lifetime. And then to think that God might use some of my writing to bless others overwhelms me at times. The counter on this site clicked over the 10,000 mark the other day, and I have to admit, my stomach fluttered at the idea that that many people had viewed the site. I prayed, "Lord, direct people by the power of Holy Spirit who need encouragement to my site today."

It's not about numbers. Or fame. But ministry. I encourage everyone who writes for the Master to remember our purpose - to lift up the Name of Jesus, and draw ourselves and others to Him. And to pause to thank God for the privilege of being a scribe for Him. May we all write beautiful words of prose and poetry, stories and teaching. What a privilege!

In Matthew 13:52, scribes are described as bringing out new and old treasures. The Amplified Bible interprets this as "the fresh as well as the familiar." How can we find the fresh insights the Lord gives us unless we are familiar with His Word? Let's be students always - learning from our Master. Then we can minister in the capacity He wants us to - whether it's teaching, singing, caregiving, praying, preaching, or writing.

Prayer: Lord, thank You for the Word of God, and that Your mercies are new every morning. Help me to faithful to minister Your Word. In Jesus' Name I pray, Amen.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Link to Funny Poem by Donna

Hi, everyone! I have a new poem up on KidVisions in the June edition. It's called Buggy Brain.
There are three definitions for 'buggy.' 1. A small lightweight carriage, 2. an informal or slang term for mentally irregular, and 3. infested with bugs.

Can you tell me which one this poem is about? Or is it two?? *hint, hint.

Click here to read about Poor Mrs. Rose!

Saturday, June 04, 2005

Hard Lessons from a Hard Drive

After the LORD finished speaking to me, I got another scroll and gave it to Baruch. Then I told him what to write, so this second scroll would contain even more than was on the scroll Jehoiakim had burned. – Jeremiah 36:32 cev

Recently I lost everything on my computer. All my files. All my mail. All my favorites and email addresses.

I sat in front of my laptop and prayed. Then I cried a bit. Then I prayed some more. I took my computer, which I really wanted to shove over a cliff, to two different computer tech places. They assured me they could recover my files. They couldn’t.

I prayed that somehow we’d figure this out so that I recovered my files.

Guess what? God said, “No.” Sometimes He does that. And it’s hard to take, isn’t it?

I spent a couple weeks without something to which I’d grown addicted. Did you know that addictions come in many different forms? Lesson One.

Lesson Two. I discovered just how much time I had spent on-line. Without the distraction of email and messages boards, I actually studied for an exam for the college course I’m taking. I finished up a children’s book, and got it to the publisher.

Lesson Three? I found I had used my time on my ‘writing machine’ – my loving name for it, to procrastinate my duties in other areas besides writing and studying – like laundry and cleaning. Oh, my. Not what I need – another way to procrastinate!

In March, I backed up my writing files. Thank God. He had prompted me to do that, and I hadn’t done much writing since then because of life’s circumstances. So I did have about a year’s writing on a disk.

And because of His prompting, I had been sending all the files that had to do with my children’s book to an on-line account. So I had everything for it to go on! Praise the Lord!

So now I’m saying, “Okay, Lord. I get it. Lessons learned.”

In the book of Jeremiah, we read that God told Jeremiah to write the words He gave him on a scroll. So Jeremiah called for his scribe, Baruch, to write them all down. Baruch then took the scroll to the temple to read the words of the Lord. King Jehoiakim had the scroll brought to him, and threw it in the fire.

Do you know what the Lord told Jeremiah to do? Get another scroll. Start writing. The second scroll contained all the words the Lord had told him, and more. The New King James Version says, “there were added to them many similar words.”

Someone told me that God must have great things in store to throw such an obstacle in my path. But anything that satan means for evil, God can use for good. I’m not writing Scripture of course, but I do believe God can and will inspire me by the power of the Holy Spirit to rewrite a lot of what was on the computer, and add to them many similar words. I believe God can not only restore, but also give an increase.

Tell me - do you use your time on the computer to shirk responsibilities? Maybe you surf the web instead of writing, or talk to other Christians online instead of spending time talking to God. Maybe my hard lesson will help someone else. First of all, talk to God Himself before writing about Him. Secondly, back up your files regularly. And finally, turn off the computer now and then. It’s difficult at first, but you’ll enjoy the time you spend online much more if you’ve taken care of obligations first.

Now I must get back to writing. I have a lot of catching up to do!

Prayer: Lord, I thank You for Your presence, for Your Word, and for Your goodness. Help me to be faithful to use my time and resources wisely. In Jesus Name I pray, Amen.
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