Thank you for praying with and for the needs of Elizabeth Ministry International, which includes EM’s concerns and those of RECLAiM Sexual Health. Even as you remember the needs of others, know that others are remembering your needs. Let us join our hands in prayer across the world, as part of one body, (1 Corinthians 12:26) suffering together and seeking strength together.
• for the health needs of EMI founder, Jeannie Hannemann, currently dealing with a kidney stone.
• for those experiencing a sense of fear, grief or hopelessness, especially those grieving a miscarriage or infant or child death.
• for those expecting the birth of a new baby with medical complications, or multiple births.
• for those unable to conceive and looking for hope and other options.
• for those struggling with unhealthy family relationships.
• for those fighting unhealthy habits, especially porn use.
• for the needs of children, grandchildren, parents and senior adults, that those most neglected would be lovingly cared for in a family context.
• for blended families and broken families.
• for the students of RECLAiM, their coaches, staff members and all those who provide financial support for the RECLAiM program.
• for the financial support of Elizabeth Ministry and RECLAiM Sexual Health.
• for our benefactors and all who pray for our needs.
A School of the Lord’s Service
Glory to God! We’ve survived another year! Now we look forward to 2017. (Or do we? With anticipation or dread?) What goals have you reached this past year? Are you living with ‘repeats’? Many of us do! More exercise! Less sweets! More patience! Less bickering! More love! Less gossip! In with the better; out with the not-so-good!
May I suggest attending the School of the Lord’s Service? Such a “school” was instituted by Saint Benedict in the early 500’s for the monks in his monastery. Not many of us have the privilege of a quiet monastic life but, hear me out! All of us are called to the School of the Lord’s Service.
From the moment you bounce, squirm, crawl out of bed in the morning, you’re registered for the School of the Lord’s Service. It may be the strong or subtle wail of need that says, MOM, I DON’T HAVE ANY SOCKS! or “Honey, I have to go in early today; can you drive the carpool?” It might even be, “Mommy, I don’t feel good….!” Sometimes, and more often than not, it’s your own wail you hear: “Dear Lord, Help…!”
Or it might be, “Another day; another dollar!” or “What day is today? A meeting today or another day at the desk?” “Ugg, another day of drudgery!” Maybe even, “Drat; I don’t have any clean socks!”
Or it could be, “Praise God! I have the opportunity of serving those I love the most!” That’s the “School of the Lord’s Service”! (We all qualify; there are no entrance exams, no requirements or certificates, but you can expect a pass or fail exit exam! See Matthew 25.)
Wouldn’t it be wonderful if every person on the face of the earth greeted morning with an attitude that says, “I have the opportunity of serving…!” From Pope Francis to President Whomever, from the palace to the street corner, from the alley to the thoroughfare, what a wonderful world we’d have if we all acted out of generous service! No greed, no self-indulgence, always the other first, only kindness and generosity. How simple!
Dream on, you say; sounds like heaven! Seriously, though, it’s a new year; why not?
When it comes to serving the Lord Jesus in one another, we have to start somewhere. Even the youngest child learns to smile by responding to a smiling face. An older child learns that one shoe fits better on one foot than on the other or that the buttons go in front. Some children even remember where their shoes should be. (Some adults even remember where their shoes should be!)
Sometimes a life of service goes back to learning to smile and responding to another face! (Can you imagine smiling and waving a happy day to the driver next to you on your way wherever?)
What a game-changer that might be!
How can we grow in the School of the Lord’s Service? Actually if you’re reading this, you’re on the right track! You have chosen to accept responsibility for the people and the life around you. You know that–as they say–It’s Not About You! You know that God has a plan for today that extends into eternity, and that those around you are called to share eternity with you, with and in the Son of God, Jesus Christ our Lord. Of course life today might not be easy or simple; sometimes life is definitely hard and complicated; very hard, complicated and unfair. Life is often painful indeed. So was His!
Jesus was wise to choose fishermen as his disciples. Fishermen know you get what you get. Sometimes something is worth keeping; sometimes you just throw it back. Sometimes it’s a bountiful catch!
The School of the Lord’s Service is a regimen not a regime; God doesn’t tell you what you have to do; He asks you to set your own parameters of growth, with His Son, Jesus, as the measuring line. How Christ-like could you be? How Christ-like are you or I capable of being, today? Maybe only for a moment? One decision at a time!
Do you suppose Jesus ever got a stone in his sandal? Did he make a fuss and complain or did he shake it out and keep walking? More than likely he changed what could be changed and lived with what couldn’t be changed. I’m sure Jesus lived with blisters and sore feet as well. Sometimes we need to accept the stones, pebbles and blisters of life as well, painful as they are. We often need to be toughened, but not brittle, more like tempered glass, able to take the pressure of life without hurting someone else. Sometimes we do break, but we put the “peaces” back together and go on with life.
As we’ve begun this new year, we at Elizabeth Ministry International ask the blessing of the Lord Jesus on you and yours, with all the joys and sufferings, triumphs and tears, gains and losses, lives and deaths before you. We each have a personalized cross to carry, one that fits perfectly, lovingly made by a Master Carpenter. Let us walk together as students in the “School of the Lord’s Service,” helping and praying for one another, learning together, reaching out to eternity, together, as Elizabeth to Mary, and as Zechariah to Joseph. We ask for your prayers, as well as your prayer needs, that the Lord Jesus may guide, touch and heal, rejoice or grieve with us all in whatever we are asked to do in 2017.
Oh, and Rejoice with us as we celebrate our 25th Anniversary as Elizabeth Ministry! Thank you for being part of “us”!