Clippin’ Grace Coupons in Ministry

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While looking back through my journal for this the first week of the New Year, my, how faithful, good, and loving God has been.  But, true is, that is not surprising because that’s Who He is!  So when you come to know Him, you watch for where He is at work, you recognize His revealed character/attibutes, and then you respond to Who He is.  I promise you, if you recognize Who He is, you will never miss what He does.  So with that in mind, here’s a recap of some of God’s grace this week.

#1  Answered Prayer!!

I could on and on about this one!!  One of the best is the reminder to never stop praying for our unsaved family and friends.

In Wednesday’s post, I wrote about Barbara Chandler’s investments in others’ lives. Her greatest investment was in prayer, especially for the salvation of her husband.  For many, many years she labored in prayer for him.  He was known for his many trips across the state line where he would get drunk and also squander their money on the lottery.

I learned while attending her funeral on Tuesday that God answered her prayer and the prayers of countless others.  Seven years, at the age of 81, Ralph humbled himself before the Lord and received Him as his personal Lord and Savior (Romans 10:9-13).

May we have the heart of Barbara Chandler as well as the Apostle Paul who said, I am telling the truth in Christ, I am not lying, my conscience bearing me witness in the Holy Spirit, that I have great sorrow and unceasing grief in my heart. For I could wish that I myself were accursed, separated from Christ for the sake of my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh, […]Brethren, my heart’s desire and my prayer to God for them is for their salvation. (Romans 9:1-3; 10:1)

 #2  Blessed Quietness


How wonderful to spend a day on the lake, in the Word, in prayer, seeking the Lord for what He would have me preach.  The serene quiet, the voice of the Lord, and setting at Jesus’ feet is invaluable time spent.

Now in the morning, having risen a long while before daylight, He (Jesus) went out and departed to a solitary place, and there He prayed. (Mark 1:35)

#3   Encouragement

Yesterday was a full day of ministry opportunities that included a funeral, a hospital visit, and mentoring to name a few.  When I arrived home around 9:15, I checked my Facebook and found I had been tagged by my oldest daughter.  Here’s a throwback video of a song that has meant so much to me over the years.  I needed this last night. I needed to be reminded that in the midst of all of life and ministry’s demands, Jesus is always the center of my joy.

(Also made me think of a very special group of teenagers who gathered in Spain two years ago!)

Center of My Joy

The Ministry of Music

Yesterday, not too long after arriving in the patient’s cardiac ICU room, he was telling me about his love of ministering in a local nursing home and using music to bring a smile to otherwise lonely people.  As he told me his story, his own countenance brightened.  I can only imagine him singing and leading those dear folks in song, especially the ones about heaven!

Many times over the years, Denise and I have had the joy of ministering by the bedside of a dear loved one or precious church member in the hospital or their home.  In recent years, we have often ended our visit by singing a hymn or gospel song.  I remember once, a dear lady who was in the ER struggling to get her breath, and we began to sing very softly, “When peace like a river attendeth my way.  When sorrows like sea billows roll . . . .”  Later on we sang, “We have a heavenly Father above.  With eyes full of mercy and a heart full of love.  He really cares when your head is bowed low. . . . “ As we moved through those songs and on to others, there was a certain calmness that came over the room.

In the midst of their battles with cancer, my parents loved to hear the songs of the redeemed.  We often played a CD of invitation hymns that ministered to my dad’s soul in a very special way.  For my mom, a dear family in our church provided an iPod for her to listen to the piano music of Rudy Atwood as well as some of her other favorites.  In the wee morning hours, sometimes, there would be Mom fixing her ear buds so she hear the songs of grace and promise.  That was new fangled gadget for her! J

Today, this week, be a blessing to a downcast, hurting soul.  Give them a CD or an iTunes card.  When you stand to sing in church, do so joyfully so the folks around who may need encouragement will be uplifted as you sing from your heart to the Lord!

Psalm 100

Make a joyful shout to the Lord, all you lands!

2 Serve the Lord with gladness;

Come before His presence with singing.

3 Know that the Lord, He is God;

It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves;[a]

We are His people and the sheep of His pasture.

4 Enter into His gates with thanksgiving,

And into His courts with praise.

Be thankful to Him, and bless His name.

5 For the Lord is good;

His mercy is everlasting,

And His truth endures to all generations.

Ephesians 5:19 – Speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord

When God Is Near