In our church, whoever preaches on Sunday writes up a weekly devotional to go along with the sermon. Here is my last sermon and the devotional that goes along with it.
ENCOUNTER: Read Ruth 1:16-19
When I reflect on my own spiritual journey, some of the most significant markers have been by some old women. It started with my aunt was the only spiritual influence in my life when I was a child. She took me to camp, took me to Vacation Bible School, and prayed with me often. Her investment opened the doors for Jesus to grab a hold of my heart and launch my walk with God.
Over the years I have had several other women come into my life and be used by God in huge ways. The one I would like to share with you is my dear friend Marti Burger. She works at the denominational offices in Chicago and was the head of youth ministry for our denomination for many years.
When I think of where I am where I have come from in both my professional, and personal development, Marti Burger, single handedly, got me here. Professionally, she saw a diamond in the rough and took a chance on me for some denominational leadership when nobody had any clue who I was. And with every little opportunity for leadership I was given more opportunities to grow and develop. Everything I get to do outside of our church and all the writing I have done is because of her encouragement and coaching.
But even more importantly, is her personal investment in me. Over the years we have become friends, and she, for sure, is my pastor. A few years ago when I was going through a really rough patch, I shared my sob story expecting her to pat me on the back and encourage me for being so great and noble through such a difficult time. Instead, she held my up a mirror, graciously explained how I am the problem, and how I am off the team until I pursue some counseling to get my inner life in order. It was not what I expected, but because of her wisdom and my respect, I jumped in and God has been doing some dramatic healing ever since.
I am so thankful for Marti and for the old women in my life and in the life of my family. Their empathy, grace, wisdom, and faithfulness are a gift to me, the church, and the Kingdom of God!
Who are some of the old women in your life that have be significant in your personal and spiritual formation? What is it about their faith and friendship that was so formative for your life?
Who is someone you can be an "old woman" to? Who is someone younger that you can extend empathy, grace, wisdom, and faithfulness to? Would you consider reaching out to them and investing in them?
BE A BLESSING:
If that older woman is alive, would you reach out to them this week and let them know how important they have been to your personal and spiritual development? What a gift it will be to not just think it, but to let them . know that their years of investment and prayer has borne much fruit.