Friday, November 11, 2011

Neighborhood Memo and MOPS Sessions


I woke up this morning to discover that all neighborhood trees had gotten the same memo. Leaves fell overnight obediently, carpeting the grass in citrus yellow. Last night's intimate MOPS session had gone wonderfully, and I was eager for this morning's MOPS session too. What a gracious group of women they have there at Messiah Lutheran Church's MOPS. I was honored to join their leaders and mentors in prayer beforehand, and to meet new friends, enjoying the unity and kinship we can have. I savored the sweet tiny faces of newborns and toddlers, wanting to kiss their little faces; and I rejoiced to hear the gentle laughter and voices of women sharing lives together. What a beautiful thing. 

God graciously spoke through me -- thank you, God! And we women got to study God's word together on the topic of Nurturing a Generous Heart in Today's Materialistic Society. Wow, God's word is convicting and beautiful. The Father describes himself using strong terms like "lavished in grace" and "lavishing his love on us" and "rich in mercy." He models how to live generously, sacrificially, giving in ways that costs something to himself, with risk, and the possibility of not even being recognized or appreciated.

Then he invites us to test him in this, to try him! Whew, any of us who were raised in church are familiar with the stern admonition to "not to put the Lord your God to the test," but here God says something different, inviting us to test him in this.

Malachi 3:10 (NIV)

10 Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the LORD Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it. 

One verse that really grabbed my attention later too was


Proverbs 11:24-25 (NIV)
 24 One person gives freely, yet gains even more;
   another withholds unduly, but comes to poverty.

 25 A generous person will prosper;
   whoever refreshes others will be refreshed. 


Wow! Need to be refreshed? In God's radical, counter-intuitive strategy, "she who refreshes others will herself be refreshed." 


Hi, thanks for praying with me for these two talks at MOPS this week. What a delight it was to be with them. How are YOU? What has your week been like? How can I pray for you today?

5 comments:

Jennifer Dougan said...

I like that we can be generous with our time, our money, and our skills/talents. It's convicting too. I am so often selfish with my time, especially.

May God change that in me more each day.

Jennifer
www.jenniferdougan.com

Shanda said...

Nice to meet you back, Jennifer. I was an MK in Zambia, missionary in Zimbabwe, married a Zimbabwean then lived in central american and mozambique for 17 years while he was a business man. He is global outreach pastor at a church in CA now.
I look forward to following a blog by another MK!!

Susan Panzica - EternityCafe said...

Hi Jennifer! So glad your MOPS talks went well. I'll be speaking at a local MOPS in NJ on Thursday. Can't wait! Even though my little ones are in college now, I have such sweet memories. Seems like yesterday.

My topic is "Blessed... or Stressed?" We're entering such a busy time of year, and busy moms can be overwhelmed. I plan to give them permission to relax lol!

Blessings,
Susan

V said...

It is so true that by refreshing others you too will be refreshed. I have learned that when I am dry or in down times if I find someone to pray for, to minister to, or help.....I in turn am blessed in the process.

Thanks for reminding me. Love your post!

Thanks too for stopping by my blog and leaving a comment. Comments are like food.

Jennifer Dougan said...

@Shanda, So fun to hear about your third culture life. Thank you. I'm looking forward to getting to know you more too.

@Susan, what a great topic for MOPS at this time of year. May God spak through you wonderfully for his glory.

@V, I agree. Choosing to refresh or bless others is a surefire way to break out of myself too. Thanks. And yes, comments are a lot like food some days too. :) It's funt o connect with others and see their hearts. Thanks.

Jennifer Dougan
www.jenniferdougan.com