By Dee Coroneos
Our daily lives are filled with responsibilities, challenges, and obligations, leaving us weary and spent at the end of each day. The Lord will provide many opportunities for us to encourage, witness, lift up in prayer, or offer a shoulder to someone in need. Are we willing to interrupt our busy schedules and take the time to reach out to someone in our family, a friend, a stranger?
My prayer has been to be aware when the Holy Spirit taps me on the shoulder, prompting me to stop, and redirect my attention to anyone He points me to. I keep a tight schedule and I used to cringe and groan when inconvenienced or sidetracked by someone in need at the “wrong” moment. The Lord worked on my heart through the years, convicting me with teachings I’d listen to, and meditating on scripture.
I started praying, I would be ready and willing when the Holy Spirit brought someone to my path, in need of an encouraging word, a gesture pointing them to Jesus. I’m so grateful for these opportunities, knowing and believing they’re God moments.
1 Peter 3:15—Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect
Allow me to tell you about a Friday afternoon, and how the Lord used a few moments of my time to bring hope to a stranger. After a long day of classes with my overactive, chatty preschoolers whom I dearly love, I was physically and mentally spent, and couldn’t wait to pick up a few groceries and rush home. The checkout line was empty, and I was relieved I’d be on my way soon, when the man behind the register noticed the double cross around my neck. He admired it, and commented how unusual it was with one cross behind the other. My flesh wanted to reply a polite “thank you” and move on, but I felt the Lord saying—“this is your God moment.”
I told him I chose the double cross because of its significance of Jesus carrying His cross, and myself behind him, carrying mine. His eyes lit up, and he thanked me for such beautiful visual. He started telling me how hard it is for him to be surrounded by complaining colleagues, and tough stories. He said how disheartening it is to hear the grumbling and the disappointments, and not knowing how to respond. I told him to pray for his co-workers, to encourage them whenever possible, and above all, to point them to God. Until we reach out to Him and start a relationship with Him, there will always be an empty space in our heart that God can only fill. As the shoppers started lining up behind me, he smiled and thanked me for bringing light into his day. I could see him still smiling as I walked away, and I was grateful I took the opportunity the Lord placed on my path.
2 Corinthians 1:4—He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us.
I felt the weariness of the day leaving me, and my heart filled with gratitude as I left the market refreshed, thanking God for the opportunity to encourage, and give hope to this man. It’s so exciting to see God at work, when we’re obedient and willing to make the time.
Our unwillingness to be inconvenienced can even be present while working for the Lord, whether building ministry, or church. We can be so busy doing God’s work, making no time to lend an ear or a shoulder to someone in need. We are Jesus’ hands and feet, and our responsibility is to take a step back when prompted, and share the hope we have in Him with others.
Are we willing to have our busy schedule interrupted, or even miss an appointment to give our full attention to someone who’s hurting? When the Holy Spirit prompts us to take action and we don’t respond, we grieve and disappoint Him.
In this season of gratitude, let’s be grateful for the Godly interruptions that can make us shine for Jesus, bringing blessings to others in need.
1 Thessalonians 5:11—Therefore encourage one another and build each other up.
By Rebecca Sliwak
“Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers. Be shepherds of the church of God, which he bought with his own blood” Acts 20:28
Her Life Speaks held its first Women’s Leadership Training led by April Sliwak and Elise Parker on Saturday, November 4th. Forty-five women attended to be encouraged, empowered and equipped to lead others in ministry. April and Elise taught us how we can work to feed and lead our flocks, as we are called to do so in Acts 20:28.
In the first session led by April, Executive Director, we heard of God’s warning to “Guard yourself, watch out and beware” of our lifestyle. To take notice of how negatively we can be in our mind, body and souls and how that influences our teams and ministry.
Collaboratively we shared what we do as ministry leaders to take care of ourselves. These are some responses:
God has entrusted leaders to watch over His flock and it is our responsibility to do so according to His will.
In the next session led by Elise, Director of Staff Training and Development, she taught on the emotional aspect of being a leader in ministry and why it can sometimes be difficult when leading. Elise posed the question, “What holds you back when leading or from leading?” and the audience joined in:
It was conclusive that women often think the same way as one another and that these thoughts hinder what God has called us to do. With the God’s help and prayer partners together we can overcome and lead according to God’s purpose.
“If you lead, lead well” Romans 12:8
God gave us a place of community that day, full of love, prayer and support. We left feeling encouraged and empowered to serve the way God intended us to do. We are not expected by God to be perfect leaders, but as leaders in Christ it is our responsibility to best equip ourselves so we can lead our flocks. This Leadership Training was a great way to do that.
What are some ways you work to be a stronger leader for Him?
Her Life Speaks is all about Her testimony, Her life, and who God is in Her story. Here we write our stories in hopes of helping other women find their relationship with Jesus Christ.