Ideas Come from the Simplest Places

Bible Study

I teach a Bible study at church every Tuesday evening. Not long ago, we were discussing the need to surrender control of various tasks & ministries in the church verses the problem of getting people to volunteer to take those same tasks over. Like many churches, we have an aging congregation that is ready to pass the mantle of leadership to the younger generation. The problem arises when the younger generation (younger than the much older generation) is unable or u willing to step up.

Now, despite appearances, I am not criticizing anyone for their failure to jump right in before testing the water. In fact, that night, we discuss what we thought was the true problem, well actually 2 problems:

1. A lack of leadership training;

2. A lack of understanding the need for service within the church.

I went home that night & gave this discussion a lot of thought. A LOT OF THOUGHT!

In seminary, I studied leadership development. I had taught classes on leadership development. I had even created a church leadership training program. I decided I needed to teach a class at church.

However, after more thought, it occurred to me that people first needed to understand the call to serve before they would be willing to step into leadership roles at church. So I began outline material for a book/seminar entitled Called to Serve.

My out,one was going great until I noticed how many pages I had spent explaining to what a “call” is. Hmmm. Perhaps I needed a program BEFORE I began teaching about service. And that is when the epiphany occurred.

I believe many Christians believe a CALL is only for specific people doing specific jobs, like ministers. I believe ever Christian has been called by God. Not every call is meant to serve the church but every single call is meant to serve the Lord.

I realized that God was calling me to help people, especially women, understand & utilize their specific call. It’s time for us to wake up, like Samuel in the Old Testament & say “Here I Am, Lord!”

We complain so much about the events in our world, wondering why someone doesn’t do something, why God doesn’t do something. Well, He has done something! He has placed each of us here to set Him & those around us through our call.

I am still working on my outline but I am i spired & on fire! The Spirit is strong with me, working to encourage & inspire me to get busy.

All the pieces are coming together. Until they do, PRAY! Pray hard for me, for my family. The enemy is hard at work trying to discourage me from fulfilling MY call. This time, I refuse to let him stop me!

HERE I AM,LORD! Let’s get busy!

20 Years of Simple Joy

102166857_w

I have been spending much of this month in reflection. I have been restless lately & I know it is due to my unwillingness to follow God’s direction. Stubborn little thing, I know. But I finally heard His call & have been working to surrender to His leading, listening carefully so I am able to fully understand exactly what He wants. This is not easy but I’m working on it!

As part of this process, I have been going over materials, projects, etc from my ministry. I suddenly realized next year marks the 20th anniversary of Simple Joy. It all began with an idea, then a philosophy leading to one of the first (if not THE first) online magazine for women. That magazine was a starting point for so much. Yet somewhere along the line, I let both the magazine & everything it represented get away from me. I’m not sure exactly what happened. Somehow, somewhere I lost my focus, thinking the next thing was bigger & better. Truth be told, I failed to follow my own advice & made thing entirely too complicated.

I admit, I have spent part of this month having a pity party for one: ME! It became easy to feel sorry for myself. I was a pioneer in so many areas, especially online. But I jumped around too much. Anyway, the party is over as the song goes & now it is time to get to work.

I have struggled over the years trying to relate the Simple Joy philosophy with my ministry. I am no longer struggling. God has given me a new assignment that perfectly combines ministry & Simple Joy. In addition, God has reawakened my bold spirit. I have been too timid for too long. I am now 20 years older. Time to stop playing it safe. I have a desire to reach women with our message & I must step out boldly in faith in order to accomplish this.

So, what does all this mean? Well, I want to once again use those tools that were so effective for us in the beginning: the magazine, my blog, chats, the podcasts & our publishing business. All these tools allowed other people to help us share our message. We are getting back to basics, focusing on a few key areas that enable us to reach the most people.

I will be sharing more very soon. I have so much going through my mind & on my heart right now. I understand David wanting to sing & dance with joy unto the Lord. I am so filled with joy right now, I could POP!

Beginning A Life of Simple Joy Part 2

cropped-preview-1.jpg

Jean Ann continues this series when she discusses the first step you must take to begin a life of Simple Joy.

Beginning A Life of Simple Joy Part 2