joy in THE JOURNEY
JJ Daniel, Washington
THIS IS “MINISTRY”
Hello family-of-God, and welcome to Word2day! I pray that each person who comes to
this site will go away having learned something, and will find encouragement
from The Word of God.
With a new season upon us – we can just expect new things
in our lives, in the natural world around us, and in spiritual matters.
In America it is spring. In the northwest we will have a
few more sunny days and a lot of rainy days; we will see a lot of beautiful
flowers and bushes and of course a little more of the vibrant green that
surrounds us here. In New Zealand it is autumn, and my friend Jill describes it
Autumn...that's where we are now, in
New Zealand: It is still nice and mild, but most of the trees have all turned
golden brown…and the gardens and yards are covered in leaves...still no rain. Daffodils
are poking brave lil shoots through, time to tidy
gardens and prune back what has died off. Gardeners are watching weather
reports for early frosts, which can happen anytime now, and catch late fruit
and veggies unawares. Many tomato plants are just ripening now so we are
harvesting those crops as soon as possible...and that’s why Churches have a
Harvest Festival, because at this time of the year, there is much produce.
Farmers are putting the rams out among the ewes for spring lambs, so I
guess other animals are mating too, and new life will be working unseen through
the winter, till it births in the spring time.
I guess autumn in any language brings the appearance of withering and
decay, but I believe in RESURRECTION LIFE!!!!!!
On the New Zealand side of the planet, they are busy
getting their gardens ready for winter; here we are spring cleaning… cleaning
up from the dead winter season, getting ready for a ‘full-bloom’ season. J Spring and fall
are my favorite seasons; I am actually one who enjoys change.
When we see a change in the natural, we can just expect a
change in the spiritual. Amen?
I’m not sure what is happening in the church every place around
the world, or if every part of “The Body” is in the same “season” – but here it
seems that God is up to a LOT of “Change”
right now; here, things are moving in an unusual and a new direction.
Brian Houston, from Australia said it this way: “If
you are getting your church growth-plan and programs strictly from books, and
not spending time with the Father – you’re in for a real surprise!! God is
doing stuff today that hasn’t been written yet!!” What an EXCITING
TIME to be “The
One thing that has clearly changed in the church - is
what we think of when we hear the word “ministry”.
When I was a teen (a few years ago!!) …it seemed that when
someone came into the church and met Jesus as Lord and Savior – the next step
was to find where they belong - in ministry. Looking back, I can see that as
often as not, people took on a “role” or “filled a spot” because it was
expected of them, not because God had called, anointed, trained or appointed
them to the task; not even because their heart or their talent took them there.
It just seemed to be part of “what you do”
in the church… then! Thank God, today we are getting hold of the
fact that “ministry” is about “people” and not about “position.” God is so
patient, and faithful - isn’t He? J
I have wonderful people in my life today – who might think, or even say that they are not “in ministry” – and yet, it is those
very people who are in “TRUE MINISTRY” – they
are simply being “Jesus with skin on” to those in their life.
Believe me - I am all about “purpose” and obeying God; and
believe that He has something specific in mind for every individual, for each
part of His Body. I also believe that He unfolds His plan to us, in His season,
while we are simply busy “doing what our
hands find to do.” He moves us
along, according to His plan and His purpose. (Hab
2:2-3; Psalm 31:15; Pr 19:21) If “full-time ministry” is what He has
designed us for, He has also planted that vision in us, and equipped us for
that; If that’s His design, it will be the biggest
part of who we are. However, I believe that the “position” is the smaller part
of what God expects of His children; He has “called” us ALL and “commissioned”
each of us to “GO!” Amen? J
I recently read a personal story by Beth Moore that
paints a beautiful picture of TRUE MINISTRY, and I’d just like to
share that with you today. Everyone probably recognizes this name - Beth Moore
is an International Teacher and Author of numerous books and Bible-Study
HAIRBRUSH EXPERIENCE OF BETH MOORE
AT THE AIRPORT:
April 20, 2005, at the Airport in Knoxville,
waiting to board the plane, I had the Bible on my lap and was very intent upon
what I was doing. I'd had a marvelous morning with the Lord. I say this because
I want to tell you it is a scary thing to have the Spirit of God really working
could end up doing some things you never would have done otherwise. Life in the
Spirit can be dangerous for a thousand reasons not the least of which is your ego.
tried to keep from staring, but he was such a strange sight. Humped over in a
wheelchair, he was skin and bones, dressed in clothes that obviously fit when
he was at least twenty pounds heavier. His knees protruded from his trousers,
and his shoulders looked like the coat hanger was still in his shirt. His hands
looked like tangled masses of veins and bones.
The strangest part of him was his hair
and nails. Stringy, gray hair hung well over his shoulders and down part of his
back. His fingernails were long, clean but strangely out of place on an old
I looked down at my Bible as fast as I
could, discomfort burning my face. As I
tried to imagine what his story might have been, I found myself wondering if I'd just had a Howard
Hughes sighting. Then, I remembered that he was dead. So this man in the
airport... An impersonator maybe? Was a camera on us somewhere? There I
sat; trying to concentrate on the Word to keep from being concerned about a
thin slice of humanity served up on a wheelchair only a few seats from me. All
the while, my heart w as growing more and more overwhelmed with a feeling for
Let's admit it. Curiosity is a heap
more comfortable than true concern, and suddenly I was awash with aching
emotion for this bizarre-looking old man.
I had walked with God long enough to see the
handwriting on the wall. I've learned that when I begin to feel what God feels,
something so contrary to my natural feelings, something dramatic is bound to
happen. And it may be embarrassing!
I immediately began to resist because I
could feel God working on my spirit and I started arguing with God in my mind.
'Oh, no, God, please, no.' I
looked up at the ceiling as if I could stare straight through it into heaven
and said, 'Don't make me witness to this man. Not
right here and now. Please. I'll do anything. Put me on the same plane, but
don't make me get up here and witness to this man in front of this gawking
audience. Please, Lord!'
There I sat in the blue vinyl chair begging
His Highness, 'Please don't make me witness to this man. Not now. I'll do it on
the plane.' Then I heard it...'I don't want you to witness to him. I want you
to brush his hair.'
The words were so clear, my heart leap
into my throat, and my thoughts spun like a top. Do I witness to the man or
brush his hair? No-brainer. I looked straight back up at the ceiling and
said, 'God, as I live and breathe, I want you to know I am ready to witness to
this man. I'm on this Lord. I'm your girl! You've never seen a woman witness to
a man faster in your life. What difference does it make if his hair is a mess if
he is not redeemed? I am going to witness to this man.'
Again as clearly as I've ever heard an audible
word, God seemed to write this statement across the wall of my mind. 'That is
not what I said, Beth. I don't want you
to witness to him. I want you to go brush his hair.'
I looked up at God and quipped, 'I
don't have a hairbrush. It's in my suitcase on the plane. How am I supposed to
brush his hair without a
hairbrush?' God was so insistent that I almost involuntarily began to walk
toward him as these thoughts came to me from God's word: 'I will thoroughly furnish you unto all good
works.' (2 Timothy 3:17)
I stumbled over to the wheelchair
thinking I could use one myself. Even as I retell this story, my pulse quickens
and I feel those same butterflies. I knelt down in front of the man and asked
as demurely as possible, 'Sir, may I have the pleasure
of brushing your hair?'
He looked back at me and said, 'What did
'May I have the pleasure of brushing
To which he responded in volume ten, 'Little lady, if you expect me to hear you, you're going to
have to talk louder than that.'
At this point, I took a deep breath and
blurted out, 'SIR, MAY I HAVE THE PLEASURE OF BRUSHING YOUR HAIR?' At which
point every eye in the place darted right at me. I was the only thing in the
room looking more peculiar than old Mr. Long Locks. Face crimson and forehead
breaking out in a sweat, I watched him look up at me with absolute shock on his
face, and say, 'If you really want to.'
Are you kidding? Of course I didn't
want to. But God didn't seem interested in my personal preference right about
then. He pressed on my heart until
I could utter the words, 'Yes, sir, I would be pleased. But I have one little
problem. I don't have a hairbrush.'
'I have one in my bag,' he responded.
I went around to the back of that
wheelchair, and I got on my hands and knees and unzipped the stranger's old
carry-on, hardly believing what I was doing. I stood up and started brushing
the old man's hair. It was perfectly clean, but it was tangled and matted. I
don't do many things well, but must admit I've had notable experience
untangling knotted hair mothering two little girls. Like I'd done with either
Amanda or Melissa in such a condition, I began brushing at the very bottom of
the strands, remembering to take my time not to pull. A miraculous thing
happened to me as I started brushing that old man's hair. Everybody else in the
room disappeared. There was no one alive for those moments except that old man
and me. I brushed and I brushed and I brushed until every tangle was out of
that hair. I know this sounds so strange, but I've never felt that kind of love
for another soul in my entire life. I believe with all my heart, I - for that
few minutes - felt a portion of the very love of God. That He had overtaken my
heart for a little while like someone renting a room and making Himself at home
for a short while.
The emotions were so strong and so pure
that I knew they had to be God's. His
hair was finally as soft and smooth as an infant's.
I slipped the brush back in the bag and
went around the chair to face him. I got
back down on my knees, put my hands on his knee and said, 'Sir, do you know my
He said, 'Yes, I do'
Well, that figures, I thought.
He explained, 'I've known Him since I
married my bride. She wouldn't marry me until I got to know the Savior.' He
said, 'You see, the problem is, I haven't seen my bride in months. I've had
open-heart surgery, and she's been too ill to come see me. I was sitting here
thinking to myself, what a mess I must be for my bride.'
Only God knows how often He allows us
to be part of a divine moment when we're completely unaware of the
significance. This, on the other hand, was one of those rare encounters when I
knew God had intervened in details only He could have known. It was a God
moment, and I'll never forget it.
Our time came to board, and we were not
on the same plane. I was deeply ashamed of how I'd acted earlier and would have
been so proud to have accompanied him on that aircraft.
I still had a few minutes, and as I
gathered my things to board, the airline hostess returned from the corridor,
tears streaming down her cheeks. She said, 'That old
man's sitting on the plane, sobbing. Why did you do that? What made you do
I said, 'Do you know Jesus? He can be
the bossiest thing!'
And we got to share.
I learned something about God that day.
He knows if you're exhausted, you're hungry, you're serving in the wrong place
or it is time to move on but you feel too responsible to budge. He knows if
you're hurting or feeling rejected. He knows if you're sick or drowning under a
wave of temptation. Or He knows if you just need your hair brushed. He sees you
as an individual. Tell Him your need!
I got on my own flight, sobs choking my
throat, wondering how many opportunities just like that one had I missed along
the way ... all because I didn't want people to think I was strange. God didn't
send me to that old man. He sent that old man to me.
'The Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us. We have
seen His glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full
of grace and truth' John
of Beth’s story.
Are you ready for CHANGE? A New Season?
J Have you said to The Father…
“I want to be all that You
designed me to be!” – or “Lord, use my life; let me minister to others.” - Or similar declarations
of your love & dedication for Him - and your desire to serve Him? Well… get ready!! His “Call” could include
Jesus said: “For I was hungry, and you didn’t feed me. I was
thirsty, and you didn’t give me a drink. I was a stranger, and you didn’t
invite me into your home. I was naked, and you didn’t give me clothing. I was
sick and in prison, and you didn’t visit me.” Matthew