GOOD NEWS

It’s not important who does the planting, or who does the watering. What’s important is that God makes the seed grow. The one who plants and the one who waters work together with the same purpose. And both will be rewarded for their own hard work. For we are both God’s workers. And you are God’s field. You are God’s building.

1 Corinthians 3:7-9

Let me just add the interpretation of this scripture as well:

God’s work involves many different individuals with a variety of gifts and abilities. There are no superstars in this task, only team members performing their own special roles. We can become useful members of God’s team by setting aside our desires to receive glory for what we do. Don’t seek the praise that comes from people–it is comparatively worthless. Instead, seek approval from God.

I’ve always kept my faith quiet. It wasn’t something I shared. I think I was embarrassed and afraid of what people would think of me. My confidence has always been low and when I’m engaged in conversation (on any topic) I usually feel like I’ve inserted my foot into my mouth. I can spend up to week agonizing over what I should have said instead. When I started to really confide in God and He started doing some pretty awesome stuff in my life, I told Him:

“This is between you and I. Nobody else needs to know. We have a quiet, loving relationship and it is good.”

I kept Him all to myself. My family saw that I was engrossed in my Bible and my daughter even made some comments toward my renewed faith. I did my best to read and pray every day. He made me feel good, safe and loved. My hope was strong even though my family was in the middle of a major crisis back in 2005. I was in desperate need of Him. I prayed that I would be that godly wife found in Proverbs 31:

Who can find a virtuous and capable wife? She is more precious than rubies. Her husband can trust her, and she will greatly enrich his life. She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life.

She is clothed with strength and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future. When she speaks, her words are wise, and she gives instructions with kindness. She carefully watches everything in her household and suffers nothing from laziness.

Her children stand and bless her. Her husband praises her:

“There are many virtuous and capable women in the world, but you surpass them all!”

Charm is deceptive, and beauty does not last; but a woman who fears the Lord will be greatly praised. Reward her for all she has done. Let her deeds publicly declare her praise.

I clung to Proverbs 14:1 as well:

A wise woman builds her home, but a foolish woman tears it down with her own hands.

At this time I did attend a local church but continuously felt like something was missing. I would leave feeling disappointed and “normal.” I dreamed of a church where I left, not on my own two feet, but by the power of the Holy Spirit. I longed for Jesus in my worship and in the delivered message but it just wasn’t happening. I put no fault on the church or its pastors. This was just my own experience there and I mean no disrespect. I can look back now and see that growth did happen and for this I am thankful. Ultimately, around 2008, I did end up leaving because of personal issues.

Fast forward to 2015, my husband suggested that I return there but this time he would come with me. We attended for a few months. It was a place that we both felt comfortable. Come as you are! Again, the same old feelings were present and my eyes and ears were tuned to what it was that I was looking for in a pastor and in a church. Perhaps, this is why I missed out in worship and God’s Word!

January 2016, this church had a revival and it was exciting. New pastors with different styles of presenting the Good News. It was an awesome experience and my husband and I loved every moment. It wasn’t until Pastor Steven Furtick stepped onto the stage that the Holy Spirit jumped up and down and loudly shouted:

“Racinda…this is your Pastor!”

He absolutely blew us both away with his message, “Good Morning Midnight.” He was exactly who I looking for and when I saw the emotion on my husband’s face, my hope was instantly and completely restored! I had been thrown a lifeline and he came straight from Our Heavenly Father!

My growth at Elevation Church has been fast and direct. I just had to give back to this church and to people. I volunteered for the Care Team but they did not have an opening so I was put on the Welcome Team:

The interpretation of Matthew 28:18-20 says this:

We are to go–whether it is next door or to another country–and make disciples. It is not an option but a command to all who call Jesus “Lord.” We are not all evangelists in the formal sense, but we have all received gifts that we can use to help fulfill the great commission. As we obey, we have comfort in the knowledge that Jesus is always with us.

This spirit-filled group of people ( Online Welcome Team) made connections with new believers and to those new to Elevation via telephone, text or email. I wasn’t actually worried about the emails. I was anxious about phone-calls and prayer which are completely out of my comfort zone. As you already know, I am not a conversationalist especially when it comes to faith:

I complained to Father God:

“My relationship with You is private. We’ve already come to that understanding. I was fine with that! Why aren’t you? How in the world am I ever going to use my voice to speak of You? How can I possibly tell others what you’ve done in my life but if this is Your will, then I will move forward.”

My first telephone connection was to a woman already strong in her faith. I could hear her strength and this made me feel small and insignificant. She did nothing wrong it was my own lack of confidence and knowledge of Jesus. I didn’t realize at the time that it wasn’t what I could do, it was what He could do. I was trying to be “godly” but instead I sounded condescending and corrective. Of course, this wasn’t intentional. I just wasn’t letting go and letting God. I knew when it came time to pray, I would lose my words and only gibberish would present itself so I had a prepared prayer that I thought would suffice. It didn’t!

It was rehearsed and devoid of any emotion. I beat myself up for weeks, totally disappointed in my performance. Every time I saw this woman’s name in group chats, I felt the insignificance and failure all over again. Each prayer that I said from that point on was awkward. I persevered because I was certain that I was asked to do this. I wanted to be obedient and I just knew that goodness was on the other side.

Under the recommendation (not because they wanted to get rid of me but this thought did cross my mind several times) of my Team Leader, I transferred to the Care Team and felt great relief in this. She knew I was feeling challenged in some of my connections. No more prayerful phone-calls. It’s not that I didn’t want to do them, I just didn’t feel like I was the right person. The new believer that I was connecting with would be better off with somebody who was stronger in faith.

The Care Team, at this point, was email only. I thought for sure that I would be an asset to this position but that was not the case. I could not find the words to respond to my assigned emails. It was a struggle and I became quite frustrated and the negative self-talk took over. I left this position after a couple of months and concentrated on my volunteer opportunities with Focus on the Family.

And for several months. I was comfortable and peaceful! God, however, had other plans for me.

We started “Our Heavenly Prize,” I volunteered to co-lead my Bible Study and now I’m in the process of returning to the Welcome Team.

Jesus is giving me a voice!

Two nights ago I had a vivid dream that I truly believe came straight from my Father in Heaven:

I was in the middle of a crowd of people with a microphone in my hand. I was passionately speaking on God, marriage and commitment. When I finished, the people who were intensely listening to me, agreed and aggressively clapped their hands and I looked around and I was not scared anymore. I was confident and I was pleased.

I woke up, grabbed my phone and jotted down my dream. I knew I would forget it in the morning. Actually, I never fell back to sleep. I was blessed and I didn’t want to waste the moment. I prayed!

Let me end with this:

I’m at work (maybe eight months ago) and patiently waiting for the cook to hand over my requested meals for my residents in the dining room (I work in an assisted living community). One of my coworkers is standing next to me and she blurts out:

“You aren’t like us. You don’t fit in.”

At the time, it made me feel sad, insecure and vulnerable. I thought about it for weeks. Satan loves these opportunities, doesn’t he? He had a heyday with this one:

“You certainly don’t fit in and you know it! What’s wrong with you? They don’t like you. They pretend they do. You don’t fit in anywhere. You are a misfit!”

My answer to her was:

“I don’t fit in because I’m a only child and it was quite lonely in my house. My social skills stink and I was bullied as a kid. It’s easier to just be quiet.”

That was a totally unnecessary, feel sorry for yourself answer! 

My answer today would be:

“Yes, I am different. I am a child of God and there is much work for me to do. I have a purpose and it has been specifically gifted to me. I choose to keep my eyes on Him because this is where my peace comes from. This is where my direction and my joy come from. He died, was buried and is now seated at the right hand of the Father. I’m eternally saved and I know where I’m going. 

Now, I don’t say this to be superior because I struggle with this as well. I am not superior to anybody. We are all created equal. I would say this because I am thankful, proud and pleased of what God is doing in my life. He has worked hard and I’ve done my best to keep up with Him. 

It hasn’t been easy but I am a different person today and I pray that the Good Lord continues to transform me into what He needs me to be. I praise God everyday for His faithfulness, His love and His sacrifice. He’s done this for all of us. Not just me. I can have Him and his Goodness and so can all of you. Give him a chance and He will transform you into somebody you don’t even recognize because this person sitting here right at this moment is somebody I don’t even recognize. And it’s good to share if you do it with the right intention. We are meant to do this. It’s what He wants not what we want!

Thank you Jesus!!

 

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