:: 06/24/2015 - 2:18pm ::

Our church seems to be growing from within more than without.

I’m talking about babies.

Our fastest growing age group is preschoolers. We have 2 pregnant moms, 1 baby, 1 toddler, 3 preschoolers, and 4 kindergartners. It may not seem like a large group, but for our church plant, each child is a blessing from the Lord.

Our church seeks to reach out to those in the season of life that lacks sleep, craves adult conversation, and needs help meeting the needs of young children and growing families. One way we do that is by hosting baby showers.

Who doesn’t love a party to welcome a new baby? We use this opportunity to reach out to our new moms and their families and friends. Multiple generations encourage, love, and get to know others who attend the baby showers. We show we care by serving, giving, and loving.

The season of life we are in does not matter. The season of our heart is what makes a difference.

Angie Quantrell lives, loves, and serves among many people in different seasons of life.

:: 06/22/2015 - 12:43pm ::

Our excuses can be many. I’m not old enough. I’m too old. I don’t have the gift of evangelism. I don’t have time. Have you ever felt as if God was calling you to a ministry, to go on a mission trip, or to invite a co-worker to church but you failed to follow through because of one of the excuses above?

I once saw a church drama that challenged me to let go of my excuses. In it, a woman was holding a single stick with several branches. She was praying to God throughout the different stages of her life. She began by saying something like “God, I know You want me to follow You, but I need to grow up first.” She then broke off 1 branch. Her next prayer went something like “God, I’m still not ready. I need to finish college and get settled in a career.” Again she broke off a branch. The prayers continued in a similar manner, blaming marriage, motherhood, poor health, and other things. At the end, the woman still hadn’t followed God and had only an empty stick to offer Him.

What are we waiting for? Let go of excuses and serve God today!           

Laci Post writes articles and historical fiction from Dallas, Georgia, where she lives with her husband, Jason, and sons, Avery and Eli.

:: 06/17/2015 - 8:12am ::

At 52, I’m starting to realize that I may have many life experiences and ideas for serving and ministry, but my body has other ideas.

This aging body is sneaking in symptoms of the wear and tear of years spent in His service. Aches and pains, decreased energy, failing eyesight, and a few extra pounds do not make things any easier.

So what can I do now? I can use the wisdom that comes from the Lord and with age to choose the best opportunities for serving Him. I can give quality service in His name and not worry about the quantity I used to be able to perform.

At my age, I have the experience to see how I must join with others, lead by example, involve and empower those who serve with me, and encourage the younger ones to follow.

Middle age is exactly that—service in the middle of my life. Reaching down to draw up the younger ones and reaching out to encourage and assist the older ones in service makes me the peanut butter that sticks together the sandwich of serving Him.

Angie Quantrell lives, loves, and serves among many people in different seasons of life.

:: 06/15/2015 - 11:44am ::

Recently my church has been studying the Book of Ephesians. What better person to learn about missional living from than Paul! In Ephesians 4, he urged believers to understand their calling and do it.

Ephesians 4:11 says God “gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers.” We are all equipped to live on mission.

The members of my small group took this verse a step further by getting out our smartphones and completing the Adult Spiritual Gifts Test together. This is a wonderful resource, based on Ephesians 4, to help Christians discover their role in God’s kingdom. After taking the test, we discussed our results and how to use them in our daily lives.

Whatever our spiritual gifts are, they are not just for a mission trip. They are for everyday living to make a difference for Christ right where we live and work.

Laci Post writes articles and historical fiction from Dallas, Georgia, where she lives with her husband, Jason, and sons, Avery and Eli.

:: 06/10/2015 - 8:50am ::

Contentment is not my gift. I envy the limitless energy of those in younger seasons of service and the freedom of those in older seasons as they serve without the stress of jobs and family responsibilities.

I strive to be content. I know it will quickly be me in the end stages of life. I don’t want to envy or criticize how others serve, especially when they are younger or older than me. But sometimes, I fail.

What is the best plan for believers in any season of service to the Lord?

Demonstrating mutual respect and working together is the antidote to envy, criticism, and discontent.

Showing respect for and joining forces with others, regardless of their season of life, can smooth age boundaries, blend energy levels, and build up the body of Christ. Serving together strengthens the church body and increases the impact of the performed services.

So I will look for ways to connect with men and women in different life seasons to serve Christ.

Angie Quantrell lives, loves, and serves among many people in different seasons of life.

:: 06/08/2015 - 11:42am ::

Need a great local place to serve God with other women in your church? Some women in my church and I started a Bible club at our children and grandchildren’s school. The club meets for 1 hour at Allgood Elementary School in Dallas, Georgia, on Wednesday afternoons after school is out. Local children’s ministers come and present a lesson, and we help lead small-group time and games.

The club is called Treasure Quest, and we strive to teach the children that true treasure is found in Jesus. It is an honor to be able to talk about God in a public-school setting. Each week, we have about 35 boys and girls come to learn about seeking godly wisdom, forgiveness, creation, and many more topics. They also learn Bible verses and share prayer requests. They are always eager to share!

The club is a great way to teach children Bible truths and engage those who do not attend church. We often get to know some of the parents as well and are able to minister to their families when tough situations arise. Could God be leading you to begin a similar club at your local school?

Laci Post writes articles and historical fiction from Dallas, Georgia, where she lives with her husband, Jason, and sons, Avery and Eli.

:: 06/03/2015 - 8:55am ::

There is a woman whom I greatly admire. She is in the nearly last season of life, is battling Parkinson’s disease, suffers from arthritis and digestion issues, tires easily, and requires frequent rest breaks.

That woman is my mother.

At 75 years old, Mom is limited in service by her age and health. Her season of life requires more care, doctors’ appointments, naps, and assistance.

But she does not let that stop her from serving the Lord.

Mom is the best-known hugger in her church. She knows no strangers. Members come from all corners of the sanctuary for their hugs. Mom spends her energy loving, hugging, and sincerely caring for others.

I would say she is using what she is and what gifts she has in a most excellent way. Her service is perfectly suited for her season of life.

Angie Quantrell lives, loves, and serves among many people in different seasons of life.

:: 06/01/2015 - 10:19am ::

The Real You. That is the name of my church’s quarterly Friday night event for women. All women are invited and encouraged to bring along their friends, neighbors, and family members.

The event usually begins at 7:00 and offers praise and worship music and a Bible study or an inspirational talk from a female speaker. Speakers share their personal story of faith and talk about topics important to women, such as self-worth, mental illness in the family, physical intimacy, and motherhood.

Afterward desserts and bottled water are available in the lobby for women to enjoy while spending time together. Also in the lobby are information and sign-up sheets for women’s Bible studies and ministry opportunities.

The Real You is a wonderful way to reach unchurched women, get more women involved in Bible studies and ministries and missions, and help women grow in their faith and understanding of God. Combined with an early dinner, it also makes for a great girls’ night out!

Laci Post writes articles and historical fiction from Dallas, Georgia, where she lives with her husband, Jason, and sons, Avery and Eli.

:: 05/27/2015 - 7:45am ::

Recently God has stirred my heart with thankfulness for something I didn’t notice enough before—the valuable role of godly men in the body of Christ. Godly men are a blessing to their family, their church, and the gospel mission.

A few things I’ve witnessed are

  • a friend being spiritually strengthened by her husband’s prayer journal;
  • a father deciding it’s time to teach his son to tithe;
  • a deacon whose deepening walk with the Lord is affecting his thoughts on sin and holiness;
  • a Christian man ministering to another man of God who feels defeated; and
  • a group of men gathering to pray for a troubled church.

Men of God need encouragement because of all they battle and juggle on a daily basis. Their lives are challenging, but their influence is vital! When men have an intimate relationship with the Lord, others always benefit. Families and even workplaces get the trickle-down effect of a Christian man in their midst. Churches thrive with godly men at the helm. And every mission of God is strengthened by the prayers and support of men who faithfully follow Christ.

Sheila Gosney lives in Monroe City, Missouri. She is a freelance writer whose passion is educating and inspiring believers for the daily mission of God’s will.

:: 05/26/2015 - 7:39am ::

Higher Ground is a biography of Wiley Glass, a missionary to China in the early 1900s. Reading the book makes you feel as if you are hearing his story firsthand. He experienced the Shantung revival of the early 1930s and lived through Japanese occupation during World War II.

Upon reading Glass’s story with the joys and difficulties he faced, I noticed how intentional he was. Not even losing most of his earthly possessions, burying a wife and child, or facing severe economic hardships seemed to dissuade him in his work for the Lord. He managed to keep the same fervent spirit up until the Lord called him home in 1967.

I have read a few missionary biographies and stories, and each time, I am encouraged and humbled. Reading Higher Ground was no exception. I believe there’s something to be said for being encouraged by the example of others who have served before us. It raises some good questions, too. What will my intentional service say to others?

Melanie Van Laningham lives in Alabama, where she hopes to continue learning more about serving Christ intentionally at all times.

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