God has been leading me to start an art ministry at OOTBWC. He has been using people, prayers and circumstances to encourage me in planning this ministry. He keeps telling me to “start at the beginning.” So I am! Having just completed a semester of Bethel I see the importance of starting at the beginning, being committed, and discerning the call of God. It takes a lot of prayer, discernment, and even disappointment. But, disappointments can be healthy as they lead to where GOD wants you.
God has also been speaking to me about commitments and over committing myself. I am having to carefully choose what I do, and when, as to not overdo and get burnt out. I have a bad habit of saying “yes” to everyone and everything. I do not like disappointing anyone. I should be more concerned with whether I am disappointing God instead of people. I was told by a wise church member that when I say “NO” that opens the door of opportunity for someone else to say “YES.” I had never thought of it like that and you know what? They are right!
When I joined FUMC Hillsville I promised to serve God and I have devoted the past four years to learning, growing and to serving God. Everyday just gets better and better! That’s not saying all have been good because they haven’t been, but all have been necessary to get me to this point in my journey. So, the journey continues and today my family and I are committed to serving at OOTBWC. This is part of that promise we made 4 years ago- to serve God where HE needs us. The hard part of it is that I really WANT to do it ALL and if I had 24 arms and legs and didn’t need to sleep I might able to. BUT that is a recipe for BURNOUT! Remember in Exodus 18 when Jethro counseled Moses not to do so much? He was trying to do it all, night and day. I know a lot of us who do that! I am the first to admit it.
Exodus 18: 17-23 Moses’ father-in-law said, “This is no way to go about it. You’ll burn out, and the people right along with you. This is way too much for you—you can’t do this alone. Now listen to me. Let me tell you how to do this so that God will be in this with you. Be there for the people before God, but let the matters of concern be presented to God. Your job is to teach them the rules and instructions, to show them how to live, what to do.
Now I am in NO WAY comparing myself or anyone else to Moses, just pointing out that even Moses had trouble with over committing himself. We all do it. But like the wise church member who told me that my “NO” opens the door of opportunity for another to say “YES” I can now see how right he is. We aren’t all called to do everything, we are each called to serve God in the way that HE has planned. That is why we are all so different. I try to think of myself as a color on the palette of the Master Artist-he picks up a little blue on his brush, ( and what a BIG brush it must be!) He blends it with a little white and places it next to the red, brown and purple. A little pink here, burnt sienna and magenta there, and oh, what about that lipstick red? Where shall WE ( Father, Son, and Holy Spirit- a trio of brushes-like an orchestra) put that? Ah…let’s just pour it right here in this little spot shaped like a heart! He is creating His masterpiece and we are IT! Some colors are bright and are seen right away, while others are somber and hidden from view-yet each are equally important to the message of the painting. THIS is who are together- God’s Masterpiece! Together, we tell the story of God’s amazing love!
Unlike all of you, ( ahem! clearing my throat here) I am a very impatient person. It takes me much prayer to be patient. I have a bad habit of jumping in with no plan, no blueprints, no recipe. Like Moses, I think I can do it all 24/7. When I try to do that it ends up in a disaster! OOTBWC is one of those areas where I have felt incredible impatience. Yes, the doors are open, and yes , the people are coming in but that doesn’t mean the work is done-this just means that it is OF GOD and that we are meeting a need right here in Carroll County. The more I am there, the more I see, feel and hear the need. Why, I can’t even sleep at night. Seriously folks, I have been having dreams of people I love being lost, people getting turned around and people dying. It keeps me up at night and I spend a lot of time reading scripture and just talking to God. When I don’t know what to say I pray the Lord’s prayer. You know what? The only answer I have is that there is much work to be done and we better not be sleeping!!! In Mark 13:37 Jesus tells us this: ” And what I say unto you I say unto ALL- WATCH.”
Part of this watching and working is through the Art Ministry. I plan to use scripture and art to teach kids a new way to see God. God has given me an amazing gift of creative insight into His Word. You may not know this but it has taken me my whole life to figure out how to use my art and my heart says this is it. I’ve often felt alone and maybe even a little crazy for doing what I do because it’s just plain weird. I remember Pastor Ty saying that it just “oozes” out of me. haha. I know I am not the greatest artist and that I need a lot of help- but I don’t care about that because God is behind it and it isn’t about me anyway. He refines us along the way. The point is that people see God in a new way. I am very passionate about this and it’s funny how God sends people to affirm what we are thinking….someone came into my office today and they said that we should all use our strengths ( passion) to do what we love-our passion should be our life’s work!
So, tonight I am laying myself, my pencils, my brushes, my paint and paper down at the feet of Jesus Christ. I am devoting my time, talents and life to build this art ministry at OOTBWC. God is in it. There is much work to be done and God is giving me a plan to help build the walls of the children’s ministry area that will be upstairs. People are hungry for their kids to learn about God’s amazing love and plan that He has for their precious lives. I am so humbled to be a part of that plan…thank you Father…thank you for allowing me to serve you in this way with my heart, hands, mind, and strength. You placed it all there….how amazing is THAT?
If you feel led to help in this ministry in any way please contact me. I would love to hear what God is telling YOU!
In Christ’s amazing love,