Friday, April 14, 2017

Summer Opportunities

 photo summer.jpg

Does summer always seem to fly by for you?  It's hard to believe that it's already mid April and school will be letting out soon.  For me, summertime always seems to speed by and the next thing I know, autumn is around the corner.   So this summer, I want to encourage you to take advantage of the extra free time that often comes along with the season.  While it's wonderful to be able to do things you enjoy like swimming, painting, or reading, don't let your activities rule your summer.  Take some time to share God's love in a powerful way by serving others.  You have the time, so get involved!  The following is a list of opportunities to consider:  

~ get involved in Vacation Bible School
~ help out in your local church
~ go on a mission trip (if you're looking for a longer term mission trip for 11 months, check out VOICE Missions!)
~ visit the elderly in a nursing home
~ help family and friends - clean the house, babysit, prepare a picnic
~ do random acts of kindness

Why not pick one or two (or come up with your own ideas) and use the time and gifts the Lord has given you to encourage and help others in His name?  It's definitely worth it because when we serve others, that means we're serving the Lord.  Scripture says in Colossians 3:23-24, "Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance.  It is the Lord Christ whom you serve."

Here at Bloom! we talk about how we're on a journey towards Biblical womanhood.  One of the ways to grow in this is to get out of your comfort zone and serve others.  Maybe you're a bit scared of doing Vacation Bible School or visiting a nursing home.  That's okay.  It's not just you that's serving anyway - it's Christ working through you!  So take courage, dear girls, and step out of your comfort zone.  Not only will others be blessed by your actions, but you'll be blessing the King of kings.  And that is something wonderful indeed!

So what are you waiting for?  Go share His love!

-- from the archives

Monday, February 20, 2017

Tales from Taiwan #20

 photo 20130405_CFLCR_00622_zpsa29fc264.jpg

Dear sisters,

There's this little boy named Cody* (name changed) that I see every week.  And every week I never know what to expect from this mischievous fireball.   Cody specializes in grand entrances to class and I never know what it'll be...somersaults, an elephant, sirens or a sprint to tackle the teacher (me!).  Then one minute he's happily coloring and the next he's trying to give me a kiss because he put my Set game cards down the toilet.  

If I ever wonder if this is really making a difference or doing any good at all, God uses what happened next to show me that the answer is a definite YES:

Recently after Cody had misbehaved, I wanted to talk to him but he's a fast fella and I couldn't catch him (hey, I run half-marathons, not sprints!).  I prayed about it and then continued on with helping the other kids.  


After our class was over and I was walking through the building, I spotted Cody.  I walked up, knelt down and asked him if I could talk with him for a minute.  To my surprise, he agreed.  After we finished, he said "Teacher, I will try to be better next week!"  I really couldn't believe he said that.  Cody never says things like that.  He gave me a hug and smiled big.  He's changing.  Slowly, ever so slowly but goodness, it's change either way!  In my eyes, that's big.

God keeps working and working on these little hearts and on mine too.  Maybe it's the small changes and small seeds that often lead to the greatest and most beautiful things after all.  Maybe it's the countless hours and the dirty fingers and tight hugs and my card game in the toilet and ABCs mastered and the joy of Jesus that brings this all in to focus.  

No matter where in the world you are, no matter what season of life God has you in, no matter what you're facing today, may God bring it in to focus for you.

After all, it's all about Jesus.


For Him in Taiwan,
Joanna