Posts Tagged ‘serving’

So every day when I go on social media (anti-social media of late) I see all these people posting all these passionate memes about causes that just seem to keep these people awake at night. I’m sure I’ve been guilty of this too at times, and the irony that I made this post in the form of a meme is not lost on me, but here’s the thing. Anyone with a computer, or other web enabled device, and it’s even easier to repost someone else’s meme, but what does that accomplish.

I’m increasingly aware of the fact that we live in a generation that lives under the mistaken impression that talking about something is the same as doing something. It’s NOT. Posting something is easy, and maybe it will generate a little awareness, but more than often it just adds to the ugliness, but what if we took our passion and actually did something that would help someone else? Wouldn’t that be better? I think it would.

You might be asking what I am doing? Well the answer is probably not enough (I always feel like I could do more) and yet I am doing some things. I am not going to list them here that would sound like boasting and that’s not what I’m supposed to be about. Suffice it to say I am putting feet to my faith in the ways that present themselves and you should too. Everybody talks about how someone should do something. I’ve been in this world long enough to realize that someone is usually me and you. Maybe we need a few less memes and a little more me… You know, like in “”Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?” And I said, “Here am I. Send me!”

Yes I know I’ve used that title before, the title of an old Bob Dylan song, but so much more. One of the things I tell people quite often is there is no substitute for practice. You have got to practice your craft. You have to try new things. You are responsible for your own growth. Now often it’s hard to get someone to pay you to practice, and jobs you just made up might be fun but it’s hard to stay motivated.

logosI have found a great way to get real world experience while learning new skills. Are you ready? VOLUNTEER. Let’s face it, there are many people out there that could use what you do but can’t afford it. Why not take that as an opportunity to use that WHATEVER gift of yours to serve others (see 1 Peter 4:10). I recently joined an online group called The HELP Experiment, where people selflessly offer their talents to help others in the group work toward fulfilling their missions and making their dreams come true. I signed up to design five logos for five different people. I said they could leave the challenge up for a couple months. I had all my takers that same day and I’m working on them now. No money changes hands in this, but I’m strangely okay with that because I am trying new things and experimenting with different techniques while making something someone will actually use. It builds my portfolio, but more than that it helps me fulfill God’s command to serve others with my gifts and to be frank, it’s fun. When I finish these five, I am going to sign up for a different project that will stretch a different set of skills. It’s a great way to grow. (The image on the left contains two drafts of the logos I designed.)

And that’s not all. I am also making graphics for a friend’s Bible Study App. I’ve never designed for an app before but I know that is something I will be doing a lot more in the future. Yesterday a friend who works for a ministry I believe in asked me to design a graphic for a new twitter feed he is developing to help youth workers. I’m already a small financial supporter, but “gold and silver I do not have…” but I can give my art which is also something he needs.

Last year a young friend was embarking on a rather lengthy mission experience toward a possible career as a missionary. My original intent was to write her a check for $50, which was what I could afford at the time. Instead I took those $50 and invested them in art supplies and did a benefit presentation of Pictures of Jesus at her church, took a freewill offering and auctioned the paintings and raised $1200, an amount I could not have given myself.

I don’t say any of this to boast but to give you ideas and merely to say, we are creative people and when we serve with our creativity, we can accomplish great things for the Kingdom.

How can you use your gift to serve the Lord?

Here’s Etta James singing Dylan’s classic…

The picture below may be my favorite picture ever. Maybe it’s because you can’t see my face, I don’t know. Seriously, I love this picture, it’s me and my son Chris who was about three at the time painting our shed. Well he’s 17 now, we just got him his first car over the weekend. He’s almost grown up, but I still look back on this time, as one of my favorite memories.

I’m not sure why. It’s not like I really love painting things that don’t look like pictures when I’m done andI’m sure when I set out on this mission I wasn’t doing backflips over having to get it done. I’d be willing to bet there was something I would have rather been doing. But none of that matters now, what matters is the feeling I get when I look at this picture. A feeling of great joy. My little son was trying to help me.

Folks this is what it looks like when we serve the Lord. Chris was trying so hard to help, but he was a toddler. He wanted so badly to do the job well, but he was three. I could have done the job faster, more efficiently and with less mess by myself, but that wasn’t the point. My child wanted to help me. He wanted to stand by my side and do this thing with me and that gave me joy. A child who I love more than life itself was trying to be like his daddy and so something to make a difference, something to serve me. God is the same way, I think. There’s nothing we can do that He can’t do a billion times better, faster, and with less mess but when the objects of His love and affection, His children want to be with Him and serve with Him, the love and joy in His heart must be overwhelming.

The next time you think about serving the Lord, don’t feel pressured to impress Him, just take up your brush and join Him on the wall. He’ll do all the heavy lifting but your effort will make Him smile.

What Serving God Looks Like

What Serving God Looks Like

Bible Reading Guide
An important part of following God is knowing what He wants and a great way to know what He wants is to read His Word. Follow this plan and you will finish reading the Bible in a year.
Genesis 41, Job 10-11, Psalm 4
You can also download your own chart here.

If you watched the video before you read this you may be wondering why I posted this video to this blog. Well the answer is simple and it goes to the founding verse of this ministry, 1 Peter 4:10 “Each one should use WHATEVER GIFTS he has received to serve others…” Well the other night I was at the theater and we were talking about our next production. It’s an unusual show, a parody about greed, corruption, powers that be out of control, etc. and it’s really funny, while at the same time actually having something substantive to say (it’s the kind of stuff the church should be doing but that’s a different story for a different day), but with a name like Urinetown it may not be an easy sell.
One of the moms remarked that some of the local groups do short videos and use them on various social media to promote their shows and the idea for this video gelled that evening and it all started with this thought. “Hey that’s something I already know how to do, I’m going to do that.”

What does this have to do with my church ministry? Nothing really. What does it have to do with the Kingdom of God? Everything. God told me to serve others with what I have to offer, not in some cryptic way where I have to wonder if it’s God or just my own idea but right there in black and white in the pages of the Bible. God has given me an awesome group of friends at that theater and every once in a while He allows me to do something to help. It’s fun and in some small way it makes a difference. Who could you help today? Remember the idea that some things are sacred and some things are secular is a human construct for the most part. If you are a follower of Jesus Christ, your whole life is to be an offering to Him. Serve someone today in WHATEVER (positive, God-pleasing) way you can.