The Literary Corner: Renegade Writers Guild
Personal Ministry Mission
By Stephanie Williams Dean
You don’t have to be a minister to have a personal ministry.
My personal ministry mission involves knowing what matters most and doing it. But first, I had to discover God’s mission for my life.
You might ask, how does one do this? Discovery comes from asking yourself questions such as how does God want me to use the talents with which I’ve been blessed? What matters most to God? And then beyond our personal lives, how do we serve God’s greater purpose? And as leaders, how do we influence and assist other people in pursuing their God-given direction?
I’m on a never-ending spiritual quest to refine personal pursuits so that my energies, passions, and spiritual gifts are directed towards serving God’s purpose. I call it my “Make Me Ministry.” Make me a servant of Christ. Defining my ministry in such a way helps bring to my life a sense of meaning and significance and helps me keep my life in clear focus, reminding me to evaluate continually.
Outside of church, I examine where I devote my energy and time, the clubs and organizations to which I belong, and whether these pursuits allow me to serve God. If not, I need to redirect. When I write for The Literary Corner, I hope to share my relationship with God, help someone come to faith in Christ, and lead them to discover the ministries within their own lives.
A good way to start discovering your mission is to write a personal ministry mission statement. This is a statement you write down about what you believe God wants you to accomplish during your lifetime. What is your purpose? Defining God’s mission for your life might be the first step on a walk that not only serve’s God’s purpose but also brings you much peace and joy.
Silence Is Not Always Golden
By Linda H. Barnette
We are all familiar with God’s creation of the world in Genesis. After He created the land and the waters, the trees and the animals, He made Adam and Eve and located them in the Garden of Eden. Eden was a perfect spot filled with beautiful trees, flowers, rivers plans, and every beautiful thing that anyone could desire. There was only one tree whose fruit they could not eat-the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. We all know how that worked out, resulting in the expulsion of the first man and woman from their perfect home.
So although the first covenant was broken, there were many others in the Old Testament, ones with Noah, Abraham, Moses, and David, for example, and it seems that the main idea of all of these is that God wants an ongoing relationship between himself and His people, even extending to the land as in its gift to Abraham.
Yet we are all aware that since the beginning mankind has not taken care of the land or its living creatures. There is pollution, overcrowding, poverty, as well as extreme disregard for God’s creatures in the animal world.
I recently saw Dr. Jane Goodall, world famous scientist and an authority on animal behavior, on PBS News Hour, and the ideas presented here are hers: she contends that there is a direct connection between the global coronavirus pandemic and humanity’s disregard for and mistreatment of nature. Dr. Goodall said that “we are all interconnected, and if we don’t get that lesson from the pandemic, maybe we never will.” Many diseases of modern times, including Zika and Ebola, have stemmed from human interference with wildlife and its habitat, creating the conditions that allow new viruses to spill over from animals to people. She recommends an end to animal sales and trafficking because of the connection of that closeness and its ability to causes new viruses to happen. Her final comment was this one: “If we carry on with business as usual, we’re going to destroy ourselves.”
My point is that just as our first ancestors disrupted God’s laws in Eden, we are doing the same evil to His creation. Our silence on this issue could very well lead to our doom. Silence is not always golden.
By Kevin F. Wishon
A lull occurred in our conversation after forty-five minutes. We had caught up on how my friend’s family was and what she had done to keep occupied during the lockdown. Afterward, I shared my situation with her recounting several notable events from the last four months. Then an uncomfortable silence overtook us. The air felt heavy, and time seemed to slow as though we were anxiously anticipating something. After a few moments, she cleared her throat and looked at me intensely.
“Can I tell you something?”
Sensing she wanted to share something serious, I resisted the urge to joke or shrug my shoulders. Instead, I replied seriously.
“What’s on your mind?”
“I’m a bit embarrassed to tell you this, but I need to tell someone. It’s been on my mind constantly since this all started. I feel like you are one of the few people who will understand what I’m about to tell you.” She looked at the ground as she spoke, only glancing at me occasionally.
Apprehensive over what my friend was about to reveal, I said nothing, but nodded, encouraging her to continue.
“As you know, I’ve never been popular or sure of myself. Since childhood, I’ve struggled to find my place and calling in this world. No matter how hard I tried to fit in, it was never enough. I was an outsider, always looking in as I strived to find friends and a purpose in life.”
Feeling compassion for her, I made the mistake of verbally offering comfort, which she brought to a halt by holding her hand up.
“Wait. Let me finish. That was the past.”
“In one way, I’m remorseful. In another, I’m exuberant.” She looked up and smiled, relieved to exhale her private feelings. “For the first time in my life, I feel my time has come. This new normal- it is the world I am born for, not the previous decades. I’ve never felt more alive than I do today.”
Then her radiant face dimmed a bit. “I haven’t forgotten the sadness and tragedy that is happening. I mourn over it and cry sometimes. That’s why I feel guilty.” Then she remained quiet for a few moments.
Uncomfortable with the silence, I said, “This- this is not your fault. It is the world we live in. You can’t help the way you feel.”
After a moment, she continued as though I had never spoken. “I’m so excited about the years to come and how I will face them, not as the unsure person of my past but with confidence. I know there will be difficulty and sorrow, but I finally see my path in life, as the mists of uncertainty dissipate.”
Looking a bit embarrassed, she added, “Please don’t tell anyone what I have told you today. I’m not sure if they would understand.”
I smiled and replied, “No worries. I’m glad you shared your metamorphosis with me. I don’t hear too much to be happy about lately, so I feel exceptionally privileged to know that something vibrant is coming out of these dark clouds.”
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