An Important Reminder to All Servants of God

ReminderSomething that has been on my heart during my internship is the difference between serving people and serving God. I feel like it is all too common for people who are working in ministry to get wrapped up in the “steps” of the job and forgetting their real calling.

While working in ministry, it can be really easy to start making the right moves to serve people, to get the right reaction from people, and to get wrapped up in what people want from you. This is often out of good intentions, but it is not what a minister is called to do.

A minister of God is support to serve God. (And every Christian is a minister of God- 2 Cor 5:20). To listen to God what to do. To be guided by the Spirit on the right steps. We can not forget this. We can not do what people want us to do. We need to do what God wants us to do.

What are your thoughts on this topic? What helps you remember to serve God and not people? Comment below and we can discuss!

~Lillian ❤

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How to Make Others Feel Loved

howtoothersOne of the biggest things I am learning as I intern with Youth Alive is how to make others feel loved. The men and women I work with really show great love for everyone, and from watching them, I have learned the secrets to making people feel loved. Its easy and simple, and you can do this anywhere and everywhere you go, no matter who you meet. From random strangers to best friends, here is how you can make others feel loved.

1. Listen

It’s very simple, and you have probably heard it before. The first thing you have to do to make someone feel loved is to listen to what they are saying. Notice what they are passionate about, learn lessons from them, hear how they are feeling.

2. Ask Questions

This is the important part of making people feel loved. To show others that you care about them, ask them questions. Nothing is too small to ask about. Ask them what they are passionate about. Ask for explaining on a topic they mention. Question how they do things and what they think about topics. Ask about their plans or ideas.

Bonus: The 1/4 Rule

A simple rule I use to help me in conversations is the 1/4 Rule. For every 1 sentence or comment about yourself or your life, there should be at least 3 sentences about them or what they are talking about.

What makes you feel loved when talking to other people?

Comment below so we can chat and share ideas!

Internship Update: Camps!

IMAG0295I am very happy to be serving at camps for the rest of my internship! For the next few weeks I will be traveling between different youth camps and family camps across the state of Michigan.

The past few days I have been learning different things to help me serve the camps. Some weeks I will be working independently from the team, so I’m getting familiar with everything I can.

I’ve been working a lot with technology, especially lighting. During the service I am in charge of the lighting. Its a lot to understand, especially with set up, but I think I am getting the hang of it.

I’ve also been networking. My boss tells me networking is really big in ministry, especially in Youth Alive. This is something I want to focus on at during this beginning stage of my career.

So far I have been very happy with what I am doing, It’ so cool to see kids passionate for God at such a young age. Today we have been teaching kids how to lead others to Jesus and how they can share Christ in their high schools. Below is a picture of the kids sharing their ideas. IMAG0301

Here is a picture of one of our services:

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Please continue to pray for me and I will be keeping you updated on my journey!

The Beauty of Asking (Matthew 7:7)

Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.

~Matthew 7:7 NIV

634667f35147f0fc3448d7cfa26db0b3As I have been getting back into my daily routine after traveling to Michigan, I have been blessed with ample amount of time to spend in the presence of God. I just finished reading through the gospel of Matthew, and God led me to the verse above that many know but few remember.

You see, I have found myself asking questions like “How can the Spirit be more alive in my life and ministry?” and “How can I learn to love people more?” and other kinds of questions we all often have. We want a mentor or spiritual person to tell us their story, their opinion, and give us a step by step guide to our goal.

While all of that is important and often needed, sometimes we forget that God made a way for us to go to Him when His Son died for us. God tells us we can boldly approach his throne (Hebrews 4:16). Why don’t we? Why don’t we bring our questions straight to God? Why don’t we let God teach us through prayer and His word?

What has God been teaching you lately? 

If you have any questions, thoughts, or something to add, please comment below so we can chat 🙂 

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4 Reasons That I Am (Apparently) Crazy

To be honest, everyone always defined me as…interesting. That’s how they always put it, anyways. When I was a kid, I was crazy for my wild personality, loud voice, and imagination. However, now that I am an adult (kinda), I’m hearing “Oh my goodness, you are crazy!” about more important things in my life. But they always have a theme to them. So here are four reasons I am (apparently) crazy.

1. I’m going into ministry.

God has called me to be a pastor. So with barely a backup plan or any kind of plan, I am going to Bible college to be a full-time pastor. A lot of people thinks this idea is nuts. How could I ever expect to make money as a pastor?! And I am really going to school 4 years for it?! Yes, yes I am. Why? Because God has called me. Not only that, but God has designed me for this. No, I don’t plan on making much money. But that is okay, because I am serving God.

2. I’m going into ministry… as a woman.

Yep, I’m going there. Kinda. Let’s address the elephant in the room. Yes, I am a woman, who believes I am called to the ministry. And I am not saying I’m going to be “The Pastor’s Wife”. While that is completely 100% awesome and admirable (I am in no way under-valuing the role), it’s just not for me. God has called me to full-time ministry, as a pastor. Sure there may be seasons where I am not working, but God has told me He has called me to be a pastor.

3. I’m going into youth ministry.

Not only does going into youth ministry make some people blink twice, but it’s also quite interesting to see people raise an eyebrow to a woman being a youth pastor. To be honest, I was a little uneasy about the idea at first. Before Bible college, I hadn’t met a woman youth pastor. Plus I couldn’t really see myself as the a youth pastor. But with a year of prayer, I know God has called me to be just that, and I have no doubts about it.

4. I’m getting married!

Okay, I wasn’t going to post this at first, but yes I’m getting married. I figured seeing my blog was about the transition from teen to adult I should probably mention this monumental change. God started calling me and my fiance, Garrick, to get married, unlike after we finished school like we planned. But God not only provided for all my financial worries, but also my emotional and spiritual worries as well. It’s kinda funny to say that I was scared to get married. I was believing that I wasn’t good enough yet. I was convinced that I had to have all my spiritual and emotional baggage all checked. But the thing is, I am never going to be good enough. That’s why marriage is not just husband and wife. It is husband, wife and God.

However, it is still crazy I’m getting married. Yes, I will only be twenty. Yes, I will be finishing school and living on campus while being married. I have been praised and condoned for it. But Garrick and I prayed and fasted about it and we know God wants us to get married.

foreverbegins

So overall, I’m always called crazy when I follow what God has called me to do. Following the call of God is crazy and it doesn’t always make sense. However, it is the best thing you can do with your life and God will have your back every step of the way.

My Next Adventure~ My Internship with Youth Alive!

page17_picture0_2Today I am leaving for my internship with Michigan Youth Alive! I recently posted in Recent Blessings, Lessons, and Opportunities about how God has blessed me with this amazing opportunity to minister in the way I have always dreamed of, with Youth Alive.

Youth Alive is a program that trains students to being missionaries on their middle/high school campuses, as well as help students create on campus Bible studies and clubs. I was a campus missionary in high school, and my friends and I tried to start a Bible club at my school.

So long story short, (read more in the article above) I was hired to work with Michigan’s Youth Alive and work at youth camps and such for two months. I am really excited! I get to work with teens and talk to them about evangelism, which is where my passion is.

I am also quite nervous. I have never been so far from home before for such a long time. Especially alone, with no friends or family with me. It will be hard to be away from my fiance for two months too. And driving in new areas petrifies me. But I know that it is out of my comfort zone where God will use me. So here I go!

Please pray for safe travels as I drive from Massachusetts to Michigan and please pray for the ministry that will be taking place. I will be keeping you updated on my adventure! Make sure you follow me! And comment with any questions if you’d like 🙂

God bless!

~Lillian ❤

Being Busy but Wanting to Go Deeper with God- How I Do It.

going deeperI’ve been on a journey of getting more serious in my time with God. I needed to increase my personal relationship with Christ. I’ve been very successful in my journey and my life has been blessed in my growth. My life has improved in every area thanks to God’s blessing and guidance.

My journey started off with finding the little times in my busy day to stop and focus on God. It didn’t matter if it was 5 minutes or 30, the most important thing was getting some prayer and listening in. It was a great start. But eventually I wanted more. More prayer. More listening. More scripture. More connection.

Sadly, I can’t spend hours in God’s presence like I would like to. God has blessed me with responsibilities, so it’s hard to see how I can find more time for God without being a good steward of God’s gifts. So I sat down and asked myself: What do I want more of? It came down to these three things:

With this in mind, I made a simple system of my day to help me get more of these three things.

More connection: 

First, I wanted to be more personal. I didn’t want to just read devotionals, I wanted to give God time to work in me. So I decided that while I would keep doing one inspirational devotional a day, I would also do part of my own personal bible study a day. This is me working chapter by chapter through a book of the Bible. I also would do a separate topical study a day too (for example: patience, prayer, joy, etc).

This may sound like a lot, but here’s the thing: I don’t have to set a specific amount of time to do this. I like to not set up so many rules that, when I break, would discourage me. Instead, I give more attention to what I feel I need that day. As long as I get some of it in, I’ve done what is important.

More prayer: 

Every time I start a devotional, I pray before hand. But this was becoming just a step to get over. So instead, I set certain times of the day to pray. First, I pray first thing in the morning and right before I go to bed. Then, I added time after lunch to address prayer requests for my friends and I. I also try to have a “prayer and listening” time where I stop and listen for God’s voice.

More dependence:

Doing all these things at different times of my day helps me focus on God through out my day and helps me depend on him to get through the tough times. And that is what all of this is about- learning to be more like Christ and depend on him every single day.

How do you grow in your devotional life? Tell me what you do in the comments!

God bless!

Lillian ❤

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Anxiety (My Struggle and Freedom)

IMG_0077 - Copy copyI can’t. I can’t. I can’t. 

What if…? What if…? What if…?

Am I wrong? Am I wrong? Am I wrong? 

One of these three things would repeat in my head over and over as I held my head, alone in my room, barley breathing. Sometimes I would cry. Other times I would throw up. I was having a anxiety attack.

Anything would set me off. An upcoming test. An argument with my fiance. Failure at making friends in school. Lack of money. Drama from home. It was getting close to every other day when I realized (a little late) that anxiety was controlling my life. One day I came across a verse which says not to let the devil have a foothold in your life (Ephesians 4:27). It was then I felt God reveal to me that I was being oppressed by the spirit of anxiety.

Now please, do not hear what I am not saying. I fully believe anxiety can be a medical condition that we need to treat until God will heal. But I also believe that the devil or demons can bring anxiety on us to keep us from God’s calling on our lives. The later was my case, and I know plenty of girls who have the prior. However, I know it was not a medical condition for me because I never had a problem with anxiety in the slightest before I came to Bible college.

So after God revealed it to me that the enemy was gaining a foothold, I started to pray for freedom. I needed to cast all my anxiety on Him (1 Peter 5:7), so much so that He takes my spirit of worry and fear completely off me. I knew I had the power to free myself from the enemy’s schemes because of Christ, but I also knew like any healing, its a process. So after a few days of prayer, fasting a few meals here and there, I came to the alter in chapel after a sermon about worry. A fellow student prayed over me, one who had not known my struggle, and casting the enemy off of me, and I felt that I was free!

It has been confirmed to me that I am free several times. I’ve gone through situations (including finals) very calmly that would have sent me into an attack before. I’ve been told that I walk differently now. I praise God for this freedom and I don’t blog this to brag, but to extend an invite for freedom if you suffer like I suffered.

If you have anxiety or anything not of God that is controlling you (addiction, anger, forgiveness, etc), pray to God and seek freedom in Him (I recommend the Bondage Breaker by Neil T. Anderson). If you do not receive freedom after a season of prayer, do not be afraid to seek medical help, but always after seeking the Lord’s healing first.

This is my testimony. God has set me free! And He will set you free too! Amen.

Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.

~2 Corinthians 3:17

Recent Blessings, Lessons, and Opportunities.

beachHello, dear reader. I apologize for not posting on my blog in such a long time. There is no excuse, but I wanted to update you on recent things in my journey. The end of my first year at Bible college is approaching, and I can not believe how much time has passed. But most of all, I can’t believe the amount of growth in God that has occurred in my life. .

As you know from the news and my post titled Snowmaggendon 2015, the semester started off rocky. Despite this, the semester has gone very well. I had a lot more time on my hands going from taking 7 classes last semester to taking 4 this semester. The overachiever in me wanted to take more classes, but God held me back from that, telling me this would be a season of rest and growth. And I am so glad I listened to him! I have learned to forgive long held grudges, to believe in God’s plan in my despite where I have come from, I have learned to love the way God created me and see the beauty He has given me, and I have been delivered from the spirit of anxiety. (I will post on these at a later time.)

However, spiritual growth is not the only blessing I have received this semester. God has been teaching me to trust Him with providing for my needs, from small to large. It started off with quarters needed for laundry- whenever I ran out I started finding them everywhere. Whenever I ran out of a toiletry, a friend would randomly bless me with what I was needing. I have starting giving my needs to God, refusing to buy what I needed and let God provide. God hasn’t failed with it yet.

Then God provided for me greatly as well, and this is where opportunity has arrived. The US Missions of the Assemblies of God was offering internships across the country here on campus, and I felt the Holy Spirit guiding me to apply. I did and I was accepted, and I will be working my dream job this summer. I will be interning in Michigan with Youth Alive, a program which teaches teens to be missionaries in their public middle/high schools. I will teaching teens to evangelize to their friends and peer at different summer camps. All these things have been dreams of mine! Not only that, but in exchange for my work this summer, I will be receiving a grant of half my tuition for next semester. And I am blown away by what God is doing. He is so good!

This summer I will be keeping you up to date on the work I will be doing and all the things God will be showing me. I hope you enjoy these posts and I am looking forward to showing you my adventure even further! And please pray for my travel and what I will be doing this summer!

God bless!

Lillian ❤