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Wednesday, June 22, 2005

[40 Days] The last days

It's finished. Well, nearly. I think there's only 2 days left of reading, most of which I've kept up to date with. That's a miracle in itself - trust me. It must be a throw-back from school days. "You must read up to page xx by monday"...and of course, come monday, it's not done :)

I think the topic that I've "enjoyed" the most was "Serving - we were shaped for serving God". For a long time in my old church, I felt like I was "almost" serving in the right area - I felt as though I was a square peg in a round hole. In one of the chapters, Rick Warren is explaining what happens when you're not serving in the right ministry for your gifting, listing examples such as frustration, stress, serving becoming a chore, etc. As I was reading that list, I found myself mentally ticking nearly every "symptom" that he described.

After prayer and counsel with a friend, I've recently made some changes in the areas in which I serve, which included stopping playing the piano for youth. (there's a post about this earlier). It was not an easy decision to make, and I didn't realise how much of my identity I had wrapped up in playing keys for youth! Not a nice thing to realise. But then, God's been showing me things about myself that I don't really like...so I guess it's time for some hard work!

Too often God reminds me that I'm only where I am today by His grace, and not because of me. My identity needs to be found in God, and not in the gifts, not in the ministry that He's given me. What if, for some reason, I could no longer sing? What if I couldn't play piano AT ALL? Utilising my gifting through ministry should only ever be secondary to my relationship with Jesus. If that's not going well, than how am I supposed to minister, to worship in Spirit and Truth?

Good post Paula. There is nothing like serving where you fit - the striving, the frustration, the burnout all dissipate and you're free to enjoy doing it.

I think in this way motive is really important. Why are you doing what you're doing? If we're honest with ourselves, really honest, that is a tough question to ask!
Thanks Bruce; I try :)
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