Turning Social Media into Social Ministry

As is often the case, messages will randomly appear in my private message box on Facebook. 
There are times when I wish that I was closer in proximity to some of the people in my “friends” list, so I could lend a more personal touch.  But, then, God knows and HE will use what is at hand. 
The truth is, I employ social media regularly, along with texting on my phone, to reach out to others who God puts on my heart.   A few weeks ago, I had just such an urge, so reached out via Facebook.  
The following is one side of the actual exchange that took place over a several weeks. Just the main parts of the conversation are highlighted here, and for the sake of brevity, my prayers and responses are deliberately omitted.
This person isn’t established in righteousness yet and her faith is ever-wavering as she is suffering in so many ways. 
           Help Nancy.   I need some prayers!   I passed out while driving to work yesterday… spent whole day in hospital late into night. I am ok, but,  I am scared to get in car! Had lumbar puncture.  The side effect has been a bad headache for 2 wks…they chalked it up as a stress induced migraine.

Of course, I prayed.  I actually typed my prayer into her messenger so she could read it again and again.
 Nancy, can you believe I have waited 2 weeksfor a call from Dr.  He finally called yesterday.  All tests came back good. Good news –  I have been walking and getting out more!  Miss you.
A few weeks later…….
          Hello friendplease pray for me.      I am seeing the Dr. next week   This grandbaby stuff is killing me.     Our Son is back at home and as a mama and G-ma it hurts.    I feel his heartache  – unable  to see his kids.   I don’t get to see them either.   I am afraid to open his bedroom door in the morning . . . and we are getting him help.     He is my son…how do I feel happy when his heart is breaking?     I almost passed out in the store….I thought I was dying.      Dr. said stress induced anxiety!!  What is that??    He lives w us .   ( I am sorry….I want to run away!  My husband and I have gotten away a couple days at a time…we talk.   I so need prayer .  Nancy this morning when I woke w/ tears in my eyes,  I found myself asking God why am I still here??   Why??    Thank you for listening.

After several exchanges where I prayed for her and ministered, I asked God to send someone to help! I asked God to let her know HE heard and was not leaving her alone.

           Hi Friend….found out I need a knee replacement….have to lose 100 lbs first. Looking at Bariatric surgery (Dr. advice) in brace no walking without crutches…prayers for peace of mind please.          
          Nancy, Today was a test….I’m still here so I think I passed.   Having a knee injury can really do a number on ya!!  BUT…..THIS will amaze you!   As  I was leaving the Doctor’s office, a car pulled up beside me. A woman leaned out and said,   “Hi I saw you inside and my heart was just led to you …may I pray with you”?      I cried…we prayed.     God….thank you for always watching out for me.  Tomorrow round two!!!    I was feeling so alone when she pulled up next to me.  I am going to church this weekend.  The lady who prayed for me, invited me!

I sat reading and smiling. As for me?   I just have to praise God again and again! I had asked The Father to send a laborer of the Harvest into my friend’s life and HE DID!  

There is absolutely no time or space when it comes to things of the Spirit!  Social Ministry through social media transcends all distance.

This post is shared at “Tell Me a True Story.”

Wearing Out

Worn Out

It always comes as a bit of a shock whenever a faithful workhorse wears out, refuses to budge and then suddenly, gives up the ghost!  All but ignored and under-appreciated, they are repeatedly put to task and left to do our bidding while we attend to a zillion other more important issues.   

A quick mental calculation told me it was over 16 years old, and I  was reminded of just how much of a pounding that workhorse, I call my washing machine, actually took!   Besides my big group, even neighbors and friends, added regularly to its punishing tedium. 

And now?  There it sat, motionless:  transmission shot, bleeding oil from underneath, the motor coupler gone, and the lid switch blown.  


Closing the lid, I stepped back and stood there just looking.  In momentary, quiet thought, I began taking mental inventory.  

Last week, it was the dishwasher.  One of the switches shorted and burned out the whole control panel.  The putrid order of burning plastic assaulted our noses for days.  Parts of my beautiful white dishwasher lay unresponsive, blackened by the heat. 
There was no doubt, it was ruined. Replacing the whole electrical harness in addition to a new control panel would cost more than buying a new appliance.  (Sigh)

Just a few weeks ago, it was the refrigerator.    The repairman indicated that it would need to be retired soon.   I shook my head, expecting it to rattle too!

For now, it looks like I’ll be washing dishes by hand and using the fridge very cautiously.

I’m smiling – really I am!

More inventory-taking.  Along with a couple of major car repairs, we’ve managed to piece together the vacuum, the household air conditioning unit, and the heating system in just a matter of that past 6 months.  My office computer and printer bit the dust within days of each other.

The angst of it all!   When everything fizzles nearly at once, it’s frustratingly inconvenient!

When our lifestyles must abruptly adjust to accommodate their absence, we quickly learn just how dependent we’ve become on these household workhorses   Isn’t that the truth?

There’s something else.   It sounds crazy, I know, but I find myself carefully scrutinizing each dish I use, how I use it and how many dishes or pots and pans may be needed for food prep.  To save on my own time and energy, I have become uber-efficient!

Soapy hands and all, I heard myself chuckle out loud!  You know, the Holy Spirit never loses a beat to make something teachable for me. 

He nudged me with thoughts about people.  Even God’s people who should be better prepared, are guilty of going through all the motions of life automatically. 

We tend to “set” the switch and keep pushing through like little automated robots.  When our friends and family begin to wear out –  or when WE begin to wear out – it tends to take us by surprise! 

“What’s this?” we say.   “How inconvenient!”   Awash with a range of feelings and emotions, hesitations and denial, we ARE often taken by surprise.  Frustration, anxiety, or loss strikes us as unfair.    But why? 

For my best appliances, there were only so many days allotted before they could no longer function, even with replacement parts.

It’s the same with you and me.  

This is not new news!  As much as we take for granted, there is never any time like the present to slow down, to contemplate.   We agree with that sentiment, but do we actually DO it?

Perhaps, before it’s too late, we can effect some changes in how we go about our daily routine and the business of life and living.

Personally, I don’t want to have to blow a fuse, or watch while someone I love does, before I consider just the whether or not I’ve been a good steward of what God has given me. That not only includes things, but also each precious day that I get to wake up. 

Priorities… priorities.  

The funny thing is that it really DOES come down to stewardship. If we take time to check in for our orders, we won’t usually have to experience a systems failure setback.

That’s a different kind of “automatic”, better understood as “ being led by the Spirit.”

Since I am often tempted to run on autopilot, I’ve given the Holy Spirit permission to intervene right away. 

Well, it’s back to my dish-pan hands.  Thank God I have running water, a house in which to live, a safe place to sleep, food in my pantry…..and now that I’m washing dishes by hand, I have definitely have MORE time to pray! 

This post is shared at “Tell Me a True Story.

When The Holy Spirit Stirs, Don’t Delay Praying!!!

When The Holy Spirit Stirs, Don’t Delay Praying!!!
I often get “interrupted” – or awakened at the strangest times with a thought-picture that invades my head.  It could be someone I know, or a sense of something happening. It can also be a circumstance or situation, or even a name of someone I do not know, that will “pop up”
In the past, my reaction was to puzzle,   “Hmmm. I wonder how ‘they’ are, or I wonder what that’s all about?”
Not so much these days.  Whether or not I have “all the information” or a whole picture, I realize that the Holy Spirit has brought an assignment my way.  And, no, it is not to be taken lightly.
This can be very serious business.   Again, God doesn’t have to let us know details, but many times, He is gracious enough to do so, so that we will build confidence to function as an instant-in-season warrior.
I encourage you to never, never put off any leading you may have, no matter how silly or simple they may appear.  Get to prayer right away.  It may mean the difference between life and death for someone else.
Just such a thing recently occurred for me and hinged around someone I haven’t seen in years.  About a week later I found a post on Facebook by her son, who happened to be with her when an incident threatened their lives.
I sat stunned as I read what he shared:
Driving down the highway 880 in heavy traffic this morning in the slow lane, the cars in front of us came to halt and we slowed and stopped behind the last car. My mother was driving and I was in the front seat and we were just chatting about our normal esoteric discussions and were completely unprepared and caught off guard for what happened next.
In an instant my existence seemed to change into a time warp and everything slowed down as the contents of the car were all thrown into the air and our bodies became rag dolls to the force that we felt. I would not have been able to tell you what was happening to us exactly when it happened, but an instant later a car swerved by us scraping down the side of our car and swerved around the front of us and came to rest facing us. We had been hit from behind with no warning at a very high speed.
Our car was destroyed from front to back. Sitting there gasping for our breath, I realized that the car that just hit us had its throttle wide open and was still pushing our car out into traffic and the driver, a young Asian man, would not take his foot off the gas. I think he must have hit the gas when he should have hit the brake.
This was the worst accident I have ever been in. My mother was already sick and we were about to stop at the hospital to get her checked out. Next thing we knew we were on our way to the hospital in the back of an ambulance. Both of our necks were hurting from the whiplash . . .”
Of course there was more.  He was marveling that they were alive.
Just two years ago around this time of the year, my friend had lost her youngest son to an accident.  That particular accident had harshly affected this big brother.
I sat motionless.  As I thought back, I wondered, “Did I pray enough?  Did I pray correctly?  “O dear Lord!”
Whatever the Holy Spirit draws us to, He will energize! We are the vessel; He provides The Power.
The length or intensity of the prayer is not necessarily a prime factor in getting things accomplished.   It IS prayer prayed in faith, believing that God is watching over the outcome.
Other times, it IS a battle as we are drawn into prayer again and again, until the urge lifts.
Just follow the Spirit!!
One day a couple of years ago, I felt led to pray over a well-known Christian singer.  Later, I found out that he was battling cancer.  Coincidence?  Not at all.  God knew there would be a struggle and He did not want him to give up in the midst of everything.   As it stands, this gentleman is moving ahead with a renewed ministry vision.
Prayer IS a ministry.  It must be cultivated.
Never again dismiss a nudge or leading.  God is prompting YOU and thousands of other Warriors into battles of all kinds.   If you haven’t done so yet, pick up that mantle and go for it!
Only Heaven will reveal the extent and the outcomes of these prayer-interventions.
At the moment when all things are revealed and our understanding has been opened, I’m sure our hearts will rejoice greatly at what God was able to accomplish through our simple obedience.

PRAYER – Just DO it! 
This post is shared at “Tell Me a True Story.”

When God Made Fathers

 When God Made Fathers
When God made fathers, He made them like Him.
With a heart of Love, that never grows dim

When God made fathers, with character, sure
His Breath-of-Life formed His man, ever pure.

When God made fathers, He made them to guard
Both Family and home, while imparting His Word.

When God made fathers, He made it a “must,”
That they look to Him, for everything, with trust.

When God made fathers, He made them like you
Sharp is your arrow, with path ever-true.

God made you a father; you passed every test.
Reflecting His Life, You He has blessed!

N.E. Kehr  4-2015
This post is shared at “Tell Me a True Story.”