Guess what. Today (Monday, 3/19) is my birthday. Yup, in the wee hours of the morning, I turned 41 years old. That's still young, right? (And for those of you who may be wondering, yes, I have chocolate cake, and yes, it's very good!)
Anyway, as I thought and prayed about what to write this morning, I settled on a variation of an idea that I've had for a while. I've been putting it off because it's one of "those" posts. You know, the kind that comes across a bit negative and needy. I don't like those, but I do feel this is what the Lord wants me to share today, so who am I to argue?
It is customary to make a wish before blowing out the candles on your birthday cake. So, I thought you might want to know what I wished for. It is, in fact, something I've been praying about for a few years now, and I admit, on the surface, it sounds selfish, but if you'll hear me out, I think you'll understand where I'm coming from.
My wish/prayer request is that I could make enough money through my writing and speaking that Jason (my husband) could stay home full-time. What would that accomplish? For starters, it would allow me to have MUCH more time to invest in the ministry. More time to study. More time to write. More time to grow the ministry and add on other areas, like bringing back weekly videos and such. Of course, more time means more material in the forms of devotions, books, videos, Bible studies and the like. More material would lead to reaching more people and encouraging more lives around the globe. On the personal side, with Jason home, he could take care of the day-to-day needs of the household such as cooking (which he loves to do), cleaning (which he could do more thoroughly because my health issues hinder me), maintenance (which he actually enjoys most of the time), errands, dog training/walking, and more. Not to mention, he is willing and interested in becoming my video editor, which would take another load off my mind and another task off my plate.
Currently, my time is divided between housework, cooking, errands, bill management, dog training and walking, church obligations (as both pianist and Sunday School teacher), and ministry demands. And trying to accomplish all of this each week with my chronic health issues definitely takes a toll on my body, mind, and spirit. I've tried to cut back, but the truth is, when it comes to ministering to others, I don't want to cut back. I want to give more. But the only way that will be possible is if I can have more time and energy to devote to it. Hence, my wish/prayer for Jason to "work" from home. (And, in case you're wondering, Jason loves the idea and is praying for it just as fervently as I am.)
Why did I tell you all of this? Because you can help make my wish come true. How? I'll tell you, but first, let me share with you a popular account from the Bible.
You're familiar with the story, right? As long as Moses held his staff in the air, Israel prevailed. But after hours of battle, Moses grew weary. Who wouldn't? So, Aaron and Hur hatched a plan. They stood on either side of Moses and held up his hands for him. Notice, they didn't hold the staff. They didn't take turns holding it. No, Moses had to be the one holding the staff, but they were called to aid him.
Now, I don't claim to be Moses, but I am trying to hold up a staff, so to speak, and at times, it's wearying. You may not be able to write, speak, or teach, but you can do like Aaron and Hur and support those who can. You don't have to do the work yourself. That may not be your gift or calling, but everyone can lend a helping hand from time to time, right?
So, how can you be an Aaron or Hur for this ministry? How can you support the work I'm trying to do? What part can you play in making sure this ministry prevails despite opposition from the world and other hindrances? I'm glad you asked.
- Donate financially. - You've heard the saying it takes money to make money. Well, the truth is, it takes money to do just about anything these days, and reaching souls is no different. Through this ministry, I offer a lot of free services such as daily devotions, Bible study videos and more, but I assure you, it costs money and time to create each of these things. There are web fees, production costs, shipping fees and so much more. You can help offset some of these costs by making a one-time donation or becoming a monthly patron. Visit my website page here for more details.
- Purchase my products. - I have books and Bible studies available for purchase on my website, as well as in online bookstores such as Amazon. If you're not a reader, maybe you know someone who is and you could buy a book as a gift for them. Not only do purchases earn me money, but they also increase my rankings and visibility online, which means more people will have the opportunity to see what I have to offer.
- Share with others. - In this age of social media and online efficiency, we have the opportunity to influence others by what we share. You can bring visibility to my ministry by sharing my daily devotions via social media or email. You can increase sales and help someone in need by pointing them to or gifting them one of my books. (For example, if you know someone suffering from anxiety or depression, point them to my website, RiseUpandBuild.net.) Word of mouth is still the best advertising!
- Pray. - Last, but certainly not least, you can pray for me and the ministry. Pray that God would give me the health to do what needs to be done. Pray that He would give me the wisdom to discern His will for each area of the ministry. Pray that He would use the words He gives me to comfort hearts and draw others closer to Him. Pray that the ministry would expand to reach more and more souls for Him. Pray that God would provide the funds for my wish to come true if it is His will. Just pray. It doesn't have to be long or eloquent. God knows the need, but powerful things happen when we pray. And this is something anyone can do, right?
So, there you have it--my birthday wish. I know many of you are already doing your part to strengthen me and advance the ministry. Many of you are contributing both financially and prayerfully while also purchasing my products and sharing my work with others. Let me say, I cannot thank you enough! The ministry would not be where it is today without your valiant efforts. As for the rest of you, I don't know what may be holding you back. Perhaps you're afraid to get involved, or maybe you feel that your small donation wouldn't make a difference. But, I ask you to remember this--Moses was only able to do what he did because people were willing to step up and assist him. And all of Israel was affected, both when Moses succeeded and when he faltered.
This ministry is not about me. It's about God. It's about spreading the light of His Word into the far reaches of this cold, dark world. It's about reaching souls for Christ and drawing believers into a closer relationship with the Lord. It's about taking old truths and teaching others how those truths still apply to our lives today. It's about hope, encouragement, and comfort. I aim to continue this work for as long as the Lord will allow me. All I'm asking is that you prayerfully consider what you could do to support this work.
Birthday cake, anyone?