Lesson

One is Enough: A Personal Reminder

You never know… your ONE act of love might be more than ENOUGH to change someone’s life.

Ministry is HARD. Heck, who I am I kidding– LIFE is hard!! And exhausting. And confusing. Yet depending on how we live our lives– it can be incredibly rewarding.

As I was driving to work yesterday, my heart was heavy… My Facebook ministry page was ticking me off, because FB decided to start filtering who sees what posts. Which means sometimes only 10% of followers will see these posts unless I literally PAY to promote it.

But I digress. SIGH.

I was thinking… “Lord, does this really matter? What am I working for? Is it worth it?”

Suddenly, God reminded me of a post I wrote last May with a flash of this statement…

“SHARITA… ONE. IS. ENOUGH.”

So today, I wanted to remind myself (and you, if you happen to be in a similar place!) that when it comes to following Christ and loving others… ONE IS ENOUGH. Here is our lil reminder… Enjoy!

***********

Husbands can be pretty useful creatures. They are great jar-openers, heavy lifters, huggers, patience-builders, grillers, laugh-inducers, Jesus-leaders, eye-roll-causers… You can probably add a few of your own to this list.

Mine, in particular, is a great perspective-keeper.

My beloved helps me to keep things in perspective. He is a great big-picture thinker. (A skill that I sometimes lack.) My type-A firstborn personality lends to me wanting to do BIG things… but He always keeps me grounded and encourages me to keep a clear focus.

Let me give you an example. Several weeks ago when we were first contacted by the Fort Benning Bayonet to do a story on our Factor of 7 Latte Love,  I was super-duper excited. Wow!! The Fort Benning Bayonet wants to do a story on the 7 Days Time ministry?!!? SUH-WEET!

I obviously told them YES. But before you could say “Make it a Grande,” either my fleshy-firstborn self or The Enemy (or a combo of both) snuck into my head. I blurted out my thought to Brandon. “I don’t want to get too excited. I mean, will it REALLY make a difference?”

That sweet man of mine raised an eyebrow, lovingly put his hand on my arm and said, “Sharita… if only one person reads that article and is moved by it… Then one is enough.”

Touché, husband. Touché.  Talk about keeping perspective.

ONE IS ENOUGH. That is powerful. So we went ahead with the story, pressing forward for Jesus. And in typical God-fashion, the Lord went above and beyond.

I know for a fact that AT LEAST one person was impacted by that article. I won’t get into details, but we received an incredible heart-wrenching prayer-request email from a soldier due to that article. I did some research and as far as I can tell, The Bayonet prints somewhere (ish?) between 22,000 to 26,000 copies on a weekly basis. Granted not all of them are read… but does it really matter?  ONE IS ENOUGH.

7 Days Time Ministry has been up and running for 88 days. That is about 7,603,200 seconds. With each article, prayer, blog post and comment… God is at work. If a single person has been positively impacted by this ministry, then it has been a success. One is enough.

But great news… We worship a God of abundance– and He is blessing this ministry abundantly. PRAISE JESUS!  The Latte Love Factor of 7 post inspired a ministry follower to do the same thing in her home town in Minnesota… She took $107 and bought/coffee lunch for the patrons who came through the line, even when here family finances weren’t exceptionally abundant  at the time. Mandy’s mission of Helping Hands & Burgers for Babies reached her goal of over $2500 to purchase a table for the preemie benefit in Fort Worth. That soldier who emailed us to share his story and now my husband and I continue to pray for him.

One is enough, folks. You CAN make a difference right where you are. Starting NOW. Pray for God to reveal to you how He has called you to share His love. We don’t have to change the world by spending a bajillion dollars or quitting our jobs to enter ministry full time. We just need to be obedient– and Jesus will do the changing.

I don’t know where this ministry is headed tomorrow, next week or 5 years from now. But if this ministry has impacted just a single person, then I shall leave you with the words of my beloved husband: “One is Enough.” YOU can do the same!!

Praising The ONE who IS Enough,
SGK

“My children, our love should not be just words and talk; it must be true love, which shows itself in action.” –1 John 3:18 (GNT)

PS: How is Christ working in your life? Is He calling you to share His love? We would love to hear about it! Please leave a comment below.

PSS: Have you been moved by this ministry? If so, subscribe via email at the top of the right sidebar to receive daily posts to your inbox. To learn more about how to make a difference in small (or big) ways in the name of Jesus, check out the updated Factor of 7 tab at the top of this page. Oh, and don’t be shy about commenting and/or sharing this ministry with your friends via Facebook, Twitter etc. Remember… ONE IS ENOUGH! May God bless you abundantly 🙂

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Addendum for today… Turns out the article in the Bayonet about this ministry DID make a difference… We were able to minister to several folks in ways that we couldn’t have possibly imagined or sought out in our own strength. Wow. Thanks, Jesus. YOU ROCK.

Categories: blessings, challenge, change, Christ, Factor of 7, giving, humility, husband, Lesson, little things, ministry, obedience, servant evangelism, serving | Tags: , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Up In Smoke

A little over a week ago, I had a moment. Here’s the back story…

Brandon and I both had a crazy week… my beloved was working ridiculous hours since it was his duty week as Senior Drill Sergeant (See: really early mornings, late/tiring nights) and I was running like a lunatic trying to keep up with more church activities/duties than anticipated.

Our backyard needed to be mowed. It is a small, little yard and we really can’t justify spending a couple-hundred bucks on buying a mower… If we play our cards right, we only need to mow about once a month anyways. When we have “time” we borrow a mower from our sweet neighbors.

However, our schedules didn’t allow for that and I didn’t want to make our neighbors do it for us. (They are busy people too.) So I contacted a small local business to do it. I’ve used them before and they do a great job. Just $10 to mow our yard. No biggie. (And still cheaper in the long run than if we actually bought a mower.)

Long story still long… I wasn’t going to be home when they were coming to mow on Saturday, so I agreed to “hide” the payment on the grill in our backyard.

Unfortunately, they weren’t able to make it on their scheduled day. No biggie, right? They were going to come on Sunday. Worked for me. I left the envelope with cash in its hiding spot so I wouldn’t forget to put it back the next day  before they arrived.

Saturday evening, Brandon finished out his duty week and came home at a semi-decent time. (AKA in time for supper.) We hadn’t really gotten to spend any time with one another for the last week, and he had to work another 24 shift on Sunday. So we decided to cook supper together.

Preparations began. Suddenly, I heard Brandon call me from the backyard… “Uh, Sharita???”

Oh no. The grill.

Sure enough, I rounded the corner  just in time to see the faint resemblance of a 10 dollar bill turn to ash and be whisked away by the breeze.

Our money went up in smoke. Literally.

Brandon thought it was hilarious. (Cue deep belly laugh.) Me? Not so much. I was working really hard on keeping our budget in check… and my beloved simply didn’t understand that those tiny ashes could have  bought me two (maybe three) servings of Fro-Yo at Chill. Or two skinny mocha-lattes at Starbucks… Or, or, or…

What do you do when things go up in smoke?

It’s funny now. (Kinda. At least my bitterness for the situation is fading.) And I know you are laughing. But sometimes it isn’t funny when things go up in smoke… Like our plans. Like our dreams. Like our money. Like our relationships.

When those go up in smoke… it can be painful. But I have good news. Notice the keyword in all of those? OUR. Our plans. Our dreams… Not God’s. God’s plans never go up in smoke. God’s dreams for us never fail. God’s love for us never runs out.

Nobody can send God’s goodness up in smoke. Not even The Enemy.

Have you ever had something go up in smoke? How did you react?  How do you handle the disappointments in life? Don’t be shy… Share your thoughts here.

If you feel like your life right now is similar to that poor $10 bill on the grill, take heart. God has you covered. He has a fire extinguisher on hand. Submit to His plans, His dreams, His love… and He will save us from going up in smoke.

Beauty in the Ashes,
SGK

“The smoke of the incense, together with the prayers of the saints, went up before God from the angel’s hand.” –Revelation 8:4

Categories: beauty, Christ, funny, glory, God, hope, Lesson, life, pain, promises | Tags: , , , , , , , | 26 Comments

One is Enough

You never know… your ONE act of love might be more than ENOUGH to change someone’s life.

Husbands can be pretty useful creatures. They are great jar-openers, heavy lifters, huggers, patience-builders, grillers, laugh-inducers, Jesus-leaders, eye-roll-causers… You can probably add a few of your own to this list.

Mine, in particular, is a great perspective-keeper.

My beloved helps me to keep things in perspective. He is a great big-picture thinker. (A skill that I sometimes lack.) My type-A firstborn personality lends to me wanting to do BIG things… but He always keeps me grounded and encourages me to keep a clear focus.

Let me give you an example. Several weeks ago when we were first contacted by the Fort Benning Bayonet to do a story on our Factor of 7 Latte Love,  I was super-duper excited. Wow!! The Fort Benning Bayonet wants to do a story on the 7 Days Time ministry?!!? SUH-WEET!

I obviously told them YES. But before you could say “Make it a Grande,” either my fleshy-firstborn self or The Enemy (or a combo of both) snuck into my head. I blurted out my thought to Brandon. “I don’t want to get too excited. I mean, will it REALLY make a difference?”

That sweet man of mine raised an eyebrow, lovingly put his hand on my arm and said, “Sharita… if only one person reads that article and is moved by it… Then one is enough.”

Touché, husband. Touché.  Talk about keeping perspective.

ONE IS ENOUGH. That is powerful. So we went ahead with the story, pressing forward for Jesus. And in typical God-fashion, the Lord went above and beyond.

I know for a fact that AT LEAST one person was impacted by that article. I won’t get into details, but we received an incredible heart-wrenching prayer-request email from a soldier due to that article. I did some research and as far as I can tell, The Bayonet prints somewhere (ish?) between 22,000 to 26,000 copies on a weekly basis. Granted not all of them are read… but does it really matter?  ONE IS ENOUGH.

7 Days Time Ministry has been up and running for 88 days. That is about 7,603,200 seconds. With each article, prayer, blog post and comment… God is at work. If a single person has been positively impacted by this ministry, then it has been an success. One is enough.

But great news… We worship a God of abundance– and He is blessing this ministry abundantly. PRAISE JESUS!  The Latte Love Factor of 7 post inspired a ministry follower to do the same thing in her home town in Minnesota… She took $107 and bought/coffee lunch for the patrons who came through the line, even when here family finances weren’t exceptionally abundant  at the time. Mandy’s mission of Helping Hands & Burgers for Babies reached her goal of over $2500 to purchase a table for the preemie benefit in Fort Worth. That soldier who emailed us to share his story and now my husband and I continue to pray for him.

One is enough, folks. You CAN make a difference right where you are. Starting NOW. Pray for God to reveal to you how He has called you to share His love. We don’t have to change the world by spending a bajillion dollars or quitting our jobs to enter ministry full time. We just need to be obedient– and Jesus will do the changing.

I don’t know where this ministry is headed tomorrow, next week or 5 years from now. But if this ministry has impacted just a single person, then I shall leave you with the words of my beloved husband: “One is Enough.” YOU can do the same!!

Praising The ONE who IS Enough,
SGK

“My children, our love should not be just words and talk; it must be true love, which shows itself in action.” –1 John 3:18 (GNT)

PS: How is Christ working in your life? Is He calling you to share His love? We would love to hear about it! Please leave a comment here!

PSS: Have you been moved by this ministry? If so, subscribe via email at the top of the right sidebar to receive daily posts to your inbox. To learn more about how to make a difference in small (or big) ways in the name of Jesus, check out the updated Factor of 7 Page. Oh, and don’t be shy about commenting and/or sharing this ministry with your friends via Facebook, Twitter etc. Remember… ONE IS ENOUGH! May God bless you abundantly 🙂

Categories: blessings, challenge, change, Christ, Factor of 7, faith, humility, husband, Lesson, little things, ministry, obedience, servant evangelism, serving | Tags: , , , , , , | 22 Comments

Precious Teachers = Precious Lessons

If my calculations are correct, I *think* I am in the midst of my 19th year of “formal” education. I continue to pray that this blog will continue our ability to learn, BUT…Before we dive into the deep ooey, gooey theological/spiritual/life stuff, I thought it might be helpful to give you a quick glimpse of who I am. Since wisdom is more precious than rubies, I am going to approach this “about the author” attempt per lessons I have learned via people, places and things. (I owe credit to my English teachers for teaching me that those are commonly referred to as nouns.) Ready? Let’s do this.

(Sidenote: Most of these lessons are still WIP… Work in Progress. Just saying.)

People:

  • Mom– Mama taught me how to be creative & resourceful. She taught me how to cook (Brandon says thanks, BTW.) I learned from her “constructive criticism” that dying my hair blondish-orange-yellow in high school was a “bad life decision.”  I am thankful for her lessons on how to “play nice,” be independent and be an amazing wife, (future) mother and friend. 
My amazing parents drove to Manhappiness last December to support me during UCC Christmas Concert in which I sang a short solo. Thanks guys! 
  • Dad– Oh, my red-headed Irishman Daddy. He taught me to be passionate about life. He taught me how to sing and gave me my first lessons in the art of auctioneering. Thanks to him I have a deep appreciation for agriculture and can install drywall screws with the best of them (Sidenote: We have approximately 24,878 sheetrock screws installed in our family’s home. I should know. I did them all <ok, most of them. Minus the ones I was too short to reach or dropped on the floor/mud/etc>.) 
After running our first 5K together, we did
locks of love… 
  • Kathleen (Sister)-– My little sister (18 months younger) taught me how to share (although we typically failed… see Mama lessons.) Kathleen taught me to do what you want. And she taught me that if you need to fight it out with your sister following a statement from your Mama saying “Don’t get blood on the carpet, take it outside,” you should make sure to change from your swimwear into normal clothes and NOT fight/wrestle in fireweed. You could get “burnt.”
We love each other lots.
Can’t you tell?
  • Dal (Brother)– My lil bro (12 yrs younger) taught me to embrace/anticipate surprises. (AKA, “You are getting a baby brother.”) He has taught me how to nurture, how to make “Simple Apple Cobbler” by using a hairdryer to melt the butter instead of the microwave, and how to have fun in life! 
  • Brandon (Beloved Husband)– My Beloved Drill Sgt husband Brandon has taught me how to love another person more deeply than I have ever imagined. He has taught me how what it means to sacrifice for someone/something, how to use the word “AMERICA!!” in daily conversation, become fluent in sarcasm and read the Bible. (Sidenote again: One year ago today, he returned from Iraq. 10 months ago today, we were married. Thanks for everything, Barn… I  love you!) 
The epitome of our relationship. 
  • Friends– (Blessed with too many to mention, but you know who you are)– I would love to write by name all of the friends who have changed my life for the better, but I am afraid this blog might have a word limit 😉 My friends have taught me how to laugh, cry, pray, enjoy Dara’s slushy runs, share space in close quarters, make good “bad life decisions” together, roadtrip, and dance in the living room just because you can.
  • Non-friends”– Ok, all the rest of teachers in this post make sense– so why include these folks? As much as we would like to deny it, we all have some of these “non-friends.”  It says in Matthew 5:43-45 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven.” From these folks, I have learned to love at a new level, to be cordial and professional even when I want to act like a 2-yr-old, be stronger, forgive and grow in faith. 

Places:

  • Colony, Kansas– This “teacher” has taught me to be bold when branching out, maintain humility, that “loving your neighbor as yourself” might (sometimes) be a little easier in a community of 400 people, and that if you don’t know what is going on in your life, somebody else in town surely does. 😉 

  • Manhattan, Kansas/Kansas State University— KSU has taught me how to start and end strong, to be a leader, to make the most not only of Christmas vacation/Spring break but to also enjoy the “in school” times. I “learned how to learn” and discovered that your major (Animal Science) may or may not apply to your life’s calling. Oh, K-State has also taught me that going out on a Wednesday is fun but not always the best idea (sometimes it is though!) and that purple looks good on EVERYONE! 
  • Jefferson City, Missouri-– This locale taught me that faith, leadership and hope are truly forged in the furnace. I learned the true meaning of perseverance and that sometimes putting hope in the Lord is all you’ve got.  Psalm 130:5– “I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in His word I put my hope.” Oh, and JCMO also taught my body/mind/soul is a little less than “compatible” with the night shift. 
  • Church (UCC, Eternity, CCC)– My various churches over the last three or so years have taught me the importance of belonging to a Body of Christ and vitality of community. They have taught me dedication, the art of Christian love, and that if you are hungry, bring a covered dish because a potluck probably isn’t far away. 

Things:

  • FFA– This remarkable organization taught me how to lead, speak, present workshops, network and developed a love of traveling. It also taught me that ag teachers are stereotypically um, “adventurous” drivers, you will never leave anywhere on time, and staying at a hotel called the “Thrifty Dutchman” is going to “Leave a Legacy.” 
  • Missouri Auction School– Auction School taught me to be slightly random. Check it off the bucket list.  You don’t always have to have a REASON to do something. Practice your tongue twisters. And this is a fantastic skill to sporadically practice at a church small group meeting or in the shower. 
  • Citizen’s Police Academy– Due to this experience, I have a deeper appreciation for law enforcement, can identify a variety of illegal substances, and will forever maintain a sick thrill of excitement via pulling people over during the police ride-a-long. (We broke a record that night for the department. Don’t worry, we only gave a couple of tickets.) 
  • Liberty University– My education at Liberty for my Masters in Christian Leadership has brought MANY concepts of theological and biblical nature to the forefront of my mind. It has affirmed my call to ministry and has taught me to never trust the online system to appropriately upload your assignment if there is any type of time constraint. 
  • The United States Army– Oh, where to begin with this one? They have taught me patience (definitely still WIP), being logical is occasionally overrated and we live in an incredible, strong and determined country. I am more patriotic (possibly with higher blood pressure) because of the experience as a military wife. Oh, and they have taught me to PRAY non-stop. AMERICA!! 
  • The Bible– His word has taught me that He has a lot of great things to say, people are cyclical in their ability to repent, behave, sin, war/fight, repent, behave etc, God has quite the sense of humor sometimes and I am thankful that if Life is a test from God, He has already given us the Study Guide in the Bible! 

Well, that’s all I got. Peace out.  Oh wait… I knew my memory was slipping… I forgot Three People:

  • Father (God)– He has taught me the true meaning of sacrifice when His son died on the cross, which a concept so awesome I believe that I will never be able to grasp. The Lord has taught me about grace and the concept of TRUE LOVE, because after all, God IS love. 
  • Son (Jesus Christ)– Ah, the greatest teacher! Jesus has taught me HOW to love, even to those who don’t deserve or return it. He has taught me not to judge but rather to seek the heart. He has blessed me with lessons on salvation and forgiveness. 
  • Holy Spirit– Lessons from Him include “hushing up” so I can actually HEAR what God is saying. The Holy Spirit has instilled in me the value of comforting quietly and how to seek Him on high when making decisions in this world. 

So… Who are the precious teachers in your life? What lessons have you learned?  What grade would you give yourself on your ability to gain wisdom from our ultimate teachers in the Father, Son, &  Holy Spirit? How can you “study” to learn even more?

Enjoy “marinating” on those questions (if you choose.) Be encouraged. Keep the faith.

Trusting Him to Teach,
~SGK~

“Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” ~Matthew 11:29

Categories: Family, God, Lesson, Wisdom | Leave a comment

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