Gratefulness

Today marks a new milestone for me as I share my initial sermon & become licensed as an Associate Minister of the Gospel. This was indeed a journey and there were moments when I felt like giving up for different reasons. Perseverance produces results, and with God’s help this is one of many results.

I pray that I become even more effective in my delivery in sharing the Good News. I am grateful for this opportunity & appointment. I do not take any of it lightly.

I request your prayers as I take this significant step.

Feel free to join us (there will be 11 of us) by streaming on www.cathedralinternational.org at 7pm ET.

Thank you.

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Singles Conference – Part 2

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Kenny Pugh signs his book after our Friday evening session
Minister Kenny Pugh & the people!
Minister Kenny Pugh & the people!
The people!
The people!
Bishop Hilliard speaks on "I Will Not Bow Down" on the opening night of the Singles Conference
Bishop Hilliard speaks on “I Will Not Bow Down” on the opening night of the Singles Conference
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The Cathedral International Singles Ministry and Min Kenny Pugh!

 

Bishop Hilliard meets Singles Conference Speaker Kenny Pugh!
Bishop Hilliard meets Singles Conference Speaker Kenny Pugh!
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Discussions and fun during bowling!
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We had so much FUN!!!!
Kenny Pugh is speaking on the Stand Up Life. This workshop was phenomenal!
Min Kenny Pugh is speaking on the Stand Up Life. This workshop was phenomenal!

We had a BLAST this past weekend!

The 2013 Singles Conference was bathed in prayer and HARD work. God was glorified and we had SO MUCH FUN!

Minister Kenny Pugh stayed with us all weekend. Bishop Hilliard launched the Singles Conference on Wed July 31 with the topic “I Will Not Bow Down”, then on Fri Aug 2 we had WORSHIP – Drama, Dance, Spoken Word and an interview with Min Pugh. He preached on “Embracing Your Season – Single and Saved to Serve”. ON POINT! We reconvened on Saturday morning for a workshop on “The Stand Up Life” based on Kenny’s book “Can You Do It Standing Up? A Different Position on Relationships”. The Q&A lasted at least one hour! We had to stop it or they would have been still asking questions today!

We took a break then met again at 6:00 pm for bowling, our last event!

On Sunday a few of us went to church as a group for 2 services. The presence of the Lord was amazing and God visited us. Then our guest, Min Pugh, left us to return to Atlanta GA.

We’ve grown as a ministry over the past week. Our hearts are overwhelmed. We’re EXCITED about where God is taking us!

Turn Your Pain Into Ministry (Aug 2007)

Lucinda Moore, one of my Facebook & Twitter friends, sings “Turn Your Pressure Into Praise” and is actually writing a book on her life at this moment. (Blessings, Lucinda!)

My theme in this blog is turning my pain into a place of ministering into the lives of others. As I’ve written over the past several months, I’ve received many encouraging messages via email and even via phone saying “You should write a book.” I believe I shall, eventually, but I don’t think the time has yet come for that to happen. There is so much more that I need to experience and work through, so much so that I know the book would be considered unfinished if I attempted to take that on now. (Update: My manuscript is being edited now!)

But anyway, my reason for writing again is I wanted to share this: I am beginning to understand the reason for my pain. This is why I’ve written publicly and sharing it with anyone who will listen. Why, because my pain is not just for me to endure. My pain is meant to help someone else. I strongly believe that, and in fact, nothing else makes sense to me than other than that. This is why I stated in an earlier blog that it is useless to hide our pain, our past and our mistakes, because others are watching and learning (or if we’re hiding it they’re not learning) from those of us who walk this Christian pathway. I know my fellow employees, family members and friends are seeing these crazy things happening to me and are wondering “Why?” but my attitude and my thankfulness to God in spite of it all makes all the difference.

I remember speaking with a friend of mine several years ago. She went through an abusive marriage, a horrendous divorce and even has repercussions from that divorce until this day. As she was being publicly humiliated by her ex-husband and as many people sided with him because he was such a slick person, a couple sat on the sidelines then eventually turned against her without a proper explanation. Later on when the truth came out that she had not fabricated any of what she was experiencing, they came to her and apologized. Then they made a confession. Years before, their marriage had many bumps as well, but they worked through their issues and today there are no visible reminders of their past experiences. Immediately my friend lashed out at them (and I couldn’t blame her). Why? Because they stood by and watched her suffer, knowing that they had the tools and the experience that could have helped her through her pain, but because they labeled it “their” pain, they did not step forward to help her. I felt badly while I listened to her recount the story and I made a promise to myself never to do that to anyone else.

This is why I write.

Many times we say to ourselves when we experience pain, humiliation or some other situation, “Why me?” But do you know what we should really be saying? “Why NOT me?” I’ve found myself telling God on several occasions, “Thank You for the vote of confidence, but I wish You’d stop putting so many of these burdens on my shoulders!” But then I reflect on Job, a man discussed in the Bible, who lived an upright life and who tried to do the right thing every day and still lost it all.

But who remembers the last chapter of Job? He received double after it was all over! His last 10 children were the most handsome and the most beautiful in all the land, even more than the first 10 who died, and if he was rich at the beginning of the book of Job, he was FILTHY rich by the end! Now I don’t dwell too much on riches as I believe it’s going to happen for me based on the fact that I have to help people, and I must be free to help as many people as I can in any way that I can. Financial prosperity is the only way I’ll be able to do so unhindered. But that’s really not the point in all of this. Job was tested, tried and stretched in ways unimaginable for any human, yet he passed the test.

I too will pass this test, because I must be able to recount to the world how God healed my body, delivered my son from his issues, placed us in a new, wonderful family and how He is actively using our lives to minister in His name. What better testimony is there?

So as I go through my time of forced solitude, I must reflect on where I am in life, where I’ve been and where I’m going. I’m getting there. I’m already there in the supernatural; I am just waiting to see it manifested in the natural.

I’m so excited, I can hardly contain it. Will I be healed completely in every way? I absolutely believe it, and I will believe nothing else. God’s plans for me need complete healing, or how else will He be effectively glorified through my life?

So I turn over all my disappointments, my painful moments and memories and even this current physical situation over to God, Who has every situation in His hands. Let’s all stand back, and see God work wonders as He turns my pain (and yours too, if you allow Him) into effective ministry for His glory!

The Link Between Strong Ministries & Servant-Leaders

Recently I had the opportunity to chat with an associate. We attended the same church several years ago, so we began discussing our varied church experiences. She made a statement that made me think, and I paraphrase: “Sometimes our season is over at a certain place and we need to be open to when God says it’s time to move on. Instead of moving on we may drag our feet or try to get comfortable, but the main reason that we should be involved in ministry is to serve.”

She is CORRECT! She elaborated some more by stating that we sometimes want to stay at a certain church because we are loyal to the leader there, but for various reasons it may be time to let go.

Please understand that this post is not intended to encourage anyone to move from church to church for no clear reason. What we discussed was the ministry needs of our families. Where we had attended was not ministering to our children effectively so they did not want to be there. They were not treated as priority, which saddened my heart. God has a special place in His heart for children, so why shouldn’t we?

We were also seeking ministries where our leaders were servant-leaders. A strong ministry has servants at their helm. When we have leaders who are self-serving and demand to be served, then we have an issue. Honor should be given where honor is due, but honor should be earned and not demanded. Respect and honor are automatically given to anyone who is humble and seeks to give, not take.

I am thankful for the ministry in which I serve now. My highest respect goes out to my Bishop who takes the time to invest in our youth. Our church is now too large for him to do it all by himself, but I know in his heart he wishes he could.

May God BLESS our ministries’ servant-leaders! You are indeed examples on how Jesus ministered to people as He walked this earth many years ago. Walking in His steps means serving “the least of these.”