Friday, December 25, 2015

Keeping a Ministry Journal

"Now glory to God! By his mighty power at work within us, he is able to accomplish infinitely more than we would ever dare to ask or hope." Ephesians 3:20

It is hard to believe another awesome year is nearly completed. God has really accomplished more than I could have ever dared to ask or hope for.

Many personal journals have been written and discarded ever since I was thirteen years old.  Then I decided to just keep a ministry journal. For a number of years I have taken the last week of December to read my entire ministry journal of the past year. Names are not used; but rather an initial. Some information is too sensitive to write about. Consequently not everything is recorded, even though the ministry journal is meant only for myself. Reading about the past year has been beneficial for a couple of reasons. First of all it encourages me to see how God has steadily been at work. I also recognize my weak areas which need attention. At the end of each year I design a cover, print it up, and have the local printer spiral bind the journal.  It is thrilling to read what God has accomplished in the past year. I might not realize that nor remember what all has happened if I had not kept a journal. If you have not made it a habit to keep a ministry journal I encourage you to start. 

Occasionally a person makes a remark which hits me like an arrow. I know that God is using that remark to speak to me.  Such was a remark that Khalid made. Khalid, whom I consider a devoted husband to Bushra, lamented to me that he wished his wife would ask him for things. He sincerely desires her happiness but she has not allowed herself, or dared to ask him for anything. He gets frustrated with her silence in this area. Bushra somehow thinks that by asking her husband for something it indicates she is not happy with him or that he has failed to provide. It was the first time I heard a Muslim man share that he wanted his wife to ask him for things. I wondered if, in the same way, God waits to be asked for something. He loves to hear our desires verbalized. Not only for me to ask once but repeatedly. This past year God spoke to me about the verses, Matthew 7: 7-8 “ Keep on asking, and you will be given what you ask for.  Keep on looking, and you will find.  Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened.  For everyone who asks, receives.  Everyone who seeks finds.  And the door is opened to everyone who knocks.”  

As usual I asked my grandchildren what they would like for Christmas. It is sometimes amusing what their wish lists comprise of. I would be so disappointed if they would reply, "Nothing." Four year old Cara answered, "Mary and Joseph and baby Jesus." She has plenty of reminders of Mary and Joseph and baby Jesus in her house over Christmas season but her wish became personal. What a delight to find a music box which plays Away In A Manger and depicts Mary and Joseph and baby Jesus. It is her very own now placed near her bed on the dresser. And she has one happy Grandma who delighted in making her wish come true.  

Sometimes I feel ashamed to keep asking(begging) God for something, or to keep searching for clues whether He is truly at work, or get weary knocking on a door to open. In 2015 I became aggressive and persistent in asking, searching, and knocking. And guess what? Surprise! I saw some neat answers to my persistent asking, searching, and knocking.  It comes through clearly reading my journal of the past year.  As a result deeper faith and joy in God’s unlimited power developed in me. I am absolutely positive that God is smiling with delight.

Dear heavenly Father, You really did more and beyond that which I dared to ask or hope for. Thank-you.