Saturday, October 10, 2009

Question Was Asked

I returned from a twelve day trip to NY earlier this week.  Arising to Excellence Ministries held a regional conference in Watertown and Susan Brown (Ministry’s President) had several other ministry events there too. 

During the trip I had many opportunities to talk about God’s calling on my life to serve Susan as her armor bearer.  One person asked the question “What is the greatest lesson that you’ve learned serving as an armor bearer?”  It was a question that I wasn’t expecting and didn’t really have an answer.  It was a question that caused me to meditate.  I found myself seeking the Lord for His answer.  Lord what is the greatest lesson that You want me to learn as an armor bearer?  His answer: be a servant.

I’ve read the book titled “God’s Armor Bearer”.  It is written by Terry Nance and there are two volumes.  I highly recommend the book for anyone that God has called to be an armor bearer. 

Terry writes on pages 15 & 49:

“The spirit of an armor bearer is the spirit of Christ.  It is the heart of a servant.”

“As an armor bearer, you have a called ministry to serve the general of God’s army.”

The greatest lesson that I’m learning is to develop the spirit of Christ within me so that I may serve the general of God’s army that He has appointed me to.  Terry also shares on page 51:

“God-called armor bearers are there to support the leader and help fulfill the vision God has given him.”

Learning to develop a heart of a servant means that I lay down my vision and help Susan fulfill the vision God has given her.  Susan’s vision is to proclaim hope, healing, and restoration to people across the world.  I am on board with this vision, but I sometimes fail at laying down my vision of how to get there.  This is where I’ve been challenged the most.  I must admit there have been times that I haven’t always made Susan’s vision of how we get there a priority.  My own will has gotten in the way and clashed with Susan’s will, and ultimately God’s will for me to be an armor bearer.

It is comforting to know that Christ was challenged just as I have been.  God’s vision for salvation was for Christ to be a sacrifice for the sins of the world.  Christ’s prayer before He was betrayed indicated that He was challenged to lay His vision down of how to accomplish this:

My Father!  If it is possible, let this cup of suffering be taken away from me.  Yet I want Your will to be done, not mine.”

Matthew 26:39

In spite of Christ’s challenge of laying down His will for the Father’s, He did the Father’s will because He understood the impact of His choice on eternity.

Acts 9:3-19 describes Saul’s experience when the Lord called him to serve the Lord.  When the Lord called me to serve as Susan’s armor bearer, my experience was similar to Saul’s.  There was no room for doubting that the Lord had called me since I experienced a visitation from the Lord like no other time in my life.  I clearly understand, now, that this was necessary in order for me fulfill God’s calling in my life as an armor bearer.   Being an armor bearer is not easy.  Yes there are many rewards in serving another’s vision, but there are many challenges too.  It is during the challenging times that God reminds me of the time when He spoke His will for me.  I hang onto His purpose and vision for my life in order to continue serving Susan’s vision.

The greatest lesson of developing the spirit of Christ within me is learning how to walk in God’s will for my life and understanding that my choices are impacting eternity and people’s lives.  I only want His will to be done and not mine.  This means that I continue serving Susan, laying my vision down for hers, and trust God to use my service to impact eternity and people’s lives.

I am humbled by the fact that God would call me to be an armor bearer and serve Susan.  This past year has been the best and happiest year of my life.  There is no better place than to be serving the living God and knowing that I’m doing what He has called me to do.  Thank you, Lord, for trusting me and giving me an opportunity to serving Your will and not mine.

Sunday, March 22, 2009


“Do you trust me?”  These were words that I the Lord asked me when my bosses told me that Tribal Administration would not be renewing my teleworker agreement.  I was initially shocked by the news since things have been going well with the teleworker arrangement.

I moved to Texas in August (see here) to learn more.  I was able to continue working for the Tribe through teleworking.  Many people asked me why I kept working for the Tribe when my experience and qualifications would make me an excellent candidate for employment in Texas.  My response was always because I never felt released by the Lord to look for other employment.  I feel released now because I don’t feel the Lord leading me to move back to NY, which is required for me to keep my job with the Tribe.

My current teleworking agreement is good until July 31.  I’ll continue working for the Tribe until then.  I’m also applying for jobs in Texas as the Lord shows me opportunities for employment.

In the natural, it makes no sense for me give up a perfectly good job in today’s current economic turmoil.  But, I’m obedient to how I feel God leading me, which is to remain in Texas and not move back to NY. 

My answer Lord..yes I trust You.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Surviving my First Tornado Warning

I got to experience my first tornado warning last week. 

Paul called me and asked “do you hear the tornado sirens?”.  I said “no, how long have they been going off?”  “Awhile”, he said.  He also shared with me that one tornado hit an area not too far from where he lived.   He advised me to take cover. 

I then started to plan out my “take cover” strategy.  Things needed while I’m in cover – laptop so that I could stay in touch with the world around me.  That is all I initially cared about.  I then came to my senses and decided that having some blankets with me might help.  After all, I’ve heard people with more tornado experience than me say you need mattresses, pillows, and blankets.  Next decision to make: where in my apartment do I take cover?  Paul had suggested my laundry room since it is in the middle of my apartment, away from outside walls, and would shelter me from any broken glass.  One problem with the laundry room – it is the happy home to my hot water heater, which sits overhead on a shelf.  I have visions of winds whipping through my apartment and tossing that puppy on me.  I don’t care how may blankets and pillows I have, having a hot water tank heaped on me doesn’t sound appealing.  Being a tornado novice, I did the next best thing – I stood outside my laundry room door, with laptop in hand and my blankets surrounding me. 

As I sat there, I wondered:

  1. How would I know it would be okay to resume my normal activities? 
  2. How would I know that a tornado wasn’t getting ready to sweep away my apartment complex?
  3. Would these blankets really protect me from the tornado?

Since I didn’t have any answers for my questions, I kept my eye on my laptop screen watching Twitter updates from other people located in the area. I learned a lot about the tornado warnings from other people’s tweets.  After a few minutes, Paul called to let me know that the warning was lifted.  It was a good thing since I still couldn’t hear the sirens to determine when they had stopped, nor could I hear the hard rain that was coming down; I guess my apartment is shelter pretty good.

Yes, I survived my first tornado warning, but I still don’t consider myself an expert in figuring out my personal take cover strategy for the next one.  I have come to the conclusion that covering myself up in my garden tub is a better than my laundry room and that I would rather drive in a blizzard in NY than wait for a tornado to pass by.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Serving Christ for His Eternal Purposes

This past Sunday I listened to a pastor share a message entitled “Serving Christ in the Light of Eternity.”  This message was shared since the church was sending their long time Assistant Pastor to another sister church to serve as the lead pastor. 

Two key points of the message that brought understanding to me regarding my recent transition included:

  1. Human hearts have a longing for permanence.  This longing is strained by change, by growth, by separation, and most critically death.
  2. We must say goodbye to an old season in order to see a new season come.  Or, better stated: must give up in order to go up.

I must admit that I longed for the stability and permanence that I felt living in Northern New York when the Lord called me to move to Texas last year.  Life was good for me in NY.  I was a member of and serving in a wonderful local church.  I was near family. I owned a home nestled in 20 acres of woods. I had a wonderful network of friends.  Yes, life was good for me and I couldn’t imagine it being better.  What I discovered, is that it could be better, but I had to say goodbye to the old in order for the new to come.

Saying goodbye to the old was a challenge.  I can see where the transition started a few months earlier before the Lord even spoke to me about moving to Texas.  God showed me that their were things that I had to let go of: wrong thinking; material possessions that would hindered my progress forward; relationships that were unhealthy; and things that I loved doing.  It was a slow process of letting go of these things, but I can see now that it was necessary in order to serve God in the capacity that He has called me to do.

Yes, I am in new season and it is better than what I could possibly imagine.  For once, I know and truly feel that I am doing what God created me to do.  I’m so thankful that I released my longing for permanency and let go of the old to experience the new.  There is truly no better place to be than this – serving Christ for His eternal purposes. 

Monday, January 19, 2009

What My Obedience to God Costs Other People

The title of this blog is actually a title to a devotion that I read last week from my daily devotion entitled “My Utmost For His Highest” written by Oswald Chambers. 

The first paragraph reads:

If we obey God it is going to cost other people more than it costs us, and that is where the sting comes in.  If we are in love with our Lord, obedience does not cost us anything, it is a delight, but it costs those who do not love Him a good deal.  If we obey God, it will mean that other people’s plans are upset.

Later in the devotion it reads:

We can disobey God if we choose, and it will bring immediate relief to the situation, but we shall be a grief to our Lord.  Whereas, if we obey God, He will look after those who have been pressed into the consequences of our obedience.  We have simply to obey and to leave all consequences with Him.

Last year the Lord called me to serve in a ministry, Arising to Excellence Ministry.  There was no doubt in my mind that the Lord called me to serve.  I knew that I was obedient when I moved to Texas where the ministry’s main office is located. 

I went through many changes in my life as a result of my obedience, but I delighted in them since I knew that I was doing what God called me to do.  I also realized that my obedience caused me to change my focus in life, which is to serve the ministry in the capacity that God has called me to do.  This means that my priorities have changed; things that used to interest me no longer grab my attention and my focus is being diligent to do the Lord’s work.

I never really thought about the cost of my obedience to others.  As I read the devotion, I thought about the people who have been impacted the most by my obedience: my mom and dad who have always had me living near them; my local church in NY who released me to serve in this new calling; my friends in NY who no longer have the contact with me that their accustomed to; my NY employer who agreed to a teleworker agreement which allows me to continue working for them; and the ministry in Texas. 

I will probably never know the depth of impact that my obedience has had on these people.  A part of me would like to concern myself with the impacts, but I know that in doing so, I would be disobedient, lose focus on what the Lord has called me to do and cause grief to the Lord - something that I won’t do.  I can only pray that the Lord will look after all of these people and help them process the consequences of my obedience.

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Twittering and Traveling

It is hard for me to fathom that January is here and it is time for me to return to NY. For those who don't know, I am working for the St. Regis Mohawk Tribe, which is based in upstate New York. When I say upstate, I'm not talking north of New York City or Albany, NY, but north of the beautiful Adirondack mountains near the US-Canadian border. It is snowy and cold there this time of year and I must admit that I've been spoiled by the warm temperatures of Texas - it is suppose to be in the 80's today. Anyways, so much for my bunny trail here.

Under my current teleworker agreement with the Tribe, I spend one month in TX working from my home office and one month in NY. I am in the process of renegotiating my agreement and am hoping that after this month I'll be able to work 2 months in TX followed by 2 weeks in NY. This will be a much better arrangement for me.

My weekend plans include laundry, packing, and finishing up the last minute details here at home. I'm also hoping to spend some time at the beach today since it is so nice here. I'll try to bottle some of the nice weather, take it to NY with me, and let it out for all my friends and family there.

You may notice on my side bar (to the right) a new link: Twitter Updates. I am able to post twitter updates through my computer and cell phone. This means you can see what I'm doing at any given moment of time by coming to my blog and looking at my Twitter Updates. I'm planning on updating on Monday as I fly back to check the updates to see where I am.

To all my friends and family in NY, I am looking forward to seeing you all and I'll try bring some nice weather with me.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

I Got a New Harley for Christmas

Susan and I were out "wheely shoppin" a few days ago when we saw a purse store. The sign read "Buy one, get one free" Being the sound women that we are, we entered the store with intentions of finding a good buy, at least I did; little did I know that Susan had other intentions.

The first time that Susan came to NY last year I teased her about her purse being a "Harley purse." It was black with a huge silver cross on the front and silver beads all over it. Just to prove that I know what I'm talking about, I've included a picture of it below. What do you think - "Harley purse", right?

One day I threw her purse over my shoulder when I was visiting her this past winter. I boldly said to her "I might have to get me "Harley purse", this feels good!!" Later in the year I ended up getting the "Harley purse" as a welcome gift to TX. I was so excited to have my own Harley!!

Susan recently kept telling me that I needed a new purse since I'm wearing the "Harley purse" out. The strap is unraveling around the edges, the zipper handles broke off, and the straps connecting to the body are worn and breaking.

When we entered the purse store the other day, Susan was actually feeling pretty good since she figured that I'd show her the purse that I liked the best and come back later to purchase it for me for Christmas. She forgot one characteristic about me, though. I'm the type of person that I'll buy something if I have a need, it is the right price, and I like it. Guess what? I found a purse that I liked and bought it. Upon leaving the store, Susan shared with me how I had foiled her plans for my present.

I like my new purse. It sort of looks like the "Harley purse", but I will always treasure my first Harley since it is special me.

I think Susan is out Christmas shopping for me right now. I wonder what she'll get for me? I told her she could get me another purse. A women can never have too many purses, right?