Thankful, Blessed – Still a Mess

By: Kristi Mitchell

What does life have to be like for you to feel blessed and thankful?  Is it only when your finances are overflowing?  Do you only count yourself blessed when you are near family and friends?  What does blessing mean to you – that new baby, new home, new car, or new job?

Certainly those things and people can be blessings in our lives.  Blessings should always evoke our thankful spirit.  But what about those who never hold that baby, move into that dream home, or always struggle with money?  Are they any less blessed?

I’m reminded of Job.  He lost so much so quickly.  I don’t know that anyone would call him blessed when it happened.  He lost his wealth, health, and family – far from looking blessed to the outsider!  

Yet, what did he do?  He “fell down upon the ground and worshipped.”  No matter where your life is today, can you find an expression of gratitude?  We know that those are the times when the Lord does things that others notice.  

Let’s shout like Job today…  “the Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away, blessed be the name of the Lord.”   Don’t wait until all seems perfect.  Blessed knows no boundaries.

Always in our Hearts

By: Stacy Mowry

In 2002, I was introduced to a woman named Kathy. My husband had recently taken a Youth Minister position where her husband was already on staff as the Music Minister. Kathy, along with a couple of other women, poured their love, advice and knowledge into this young woman who was new to this role in a church…me! 

I remember one evening we all met and I was eagerly soaking in all the wisdom they so willingly shared with me on being a wife of a minister; a role that I didn’t take lightly. Unfortunately, I look back and see many areas that I failed in.  Realizing areas I could’ve done better, was mainly because of what these women taught me. I guess that’s the beauty of God intertwining our lives with people.

Fast forward, 18 years later. Now, I’m the older one, with knowledge and experience. I don’t think I’m quite ready to give the advice as those women did, but I’ve grown so much. I’ve learned that ministry is not confined to a church building. It’s in your home, workplace, and community. Ministry can be anywhere you decide to take it and people just need to know that someone cares! Someone IS there and the hope we have as Christians is true.

Kathy, is one of those people to me. Even though we went our separate ways on church staff years ago, she remained a constant in my life. One that we would pick up right where we left off, whether it was in person, text, Facebook or back in the same church building. I’ve watched her, listened to her, and realize that she continues to challenge me to be a person who loves Jesus first, who supports her husband’s calling, and who loves and cares for others. 

This morning, my sweet friend’s faith became her sight when she met Jesus face to face. She won her battle with breast and pancreatic cancer. 

I’ve been looking through our text messages since she found out about her diagnosis in January. As I read them, I felt peace in her words.  She was ready for this fight, she was ready to show people how faithful God is. Her verse she claimed is Psalm 34:8..”O taste and see that the Lord is good…”

Good?..even through this difficult journey and demanding cancer treatments? YES! Kathy completely trusted in God’s plans, and wanted God to get all the glory through her journey. 

I personally want to thank God for putting Kathy Stokes in my life.  Not only as a role model of a Christian woman, but also for her willingness to pour into myself and my family without ceasing.

And I will take it as a challenge and to challenge you, to know Jesus as your personal Savior, to know how GOOD He is, to always take the time to give God praise, and to truly care for others. 

What can you give God all the glory for?

Who can you invest in? 

Goodbye for now, Kathy. Always in our hearts…

“O taste and see that the Lord is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him.”

Psalm 34:8 KJV