Forgiving Thieves

hyco 1File this one under the “You Can’t Make This Up” tab.  Our ministry (Free Indeed) has a mobile Prayer Tent that we have been setting up at area Fall Festivals.  It is an honor and a privilege to meet and pray for various people who come in, with various needs.  We also have my recently published book “Freed Bird” available for purchase as well (which is relevant to this story.)  This past weekend we set up at a local festival which was also a fund-raiser for the care of canine police officers!  This annual festival is named in memory of Hyco, a canine officer who was shot and killed in the line of duty a few years ago.  There is a race for runners to enter, a live band, and many craft and food vendors.

After setting up shop, my husband and I made the rounds visiting other booths and meeting the other vendors.  We had about an hour before the event opened up to the public.  We met both two- and four-legged police officers, and the local fire chief!  When we returned to our site, I noticed that my business cards were laying flat on the table; but the card holder that had displayed them was missing.  I looked all around the table, but it was simply gone.  Apparently someone had been by our table, a ministry prayer tent, and felt the need to dump the cards out and take the card holder!

All of my books were accounted for, as was the Bible Atlas that we are giving away in a drawing.  My first inclination was to go around to the other booths and see who was using my card holder.  I laughed at the irony of it all, and quickly decided that if someone needed my $2.00 plastic business card holder badly enough to steal from a ministry tent, at a police fund-raiser, then they obviously needed it much more than I did.  Copies of my book “Freed Bird” lay before my eyes, carefully arranged on our table.  The book chronicles finding freedom through forgiving others, and I once again laughed at the irony.

Oh, how Satan tempts us, while Father watches closely to observe our reaction and response!  It seems effortless to forgive when we are robbed of insignificant items that can be easily replaced.  But what happens when we are plundered of more valuable material possessions?  We are not only angry, but often heart-broken if a family heirloom is stolen, lost or destroyed.  Sentimental value of certain trinkets and jewels are worth far more than any insurance policy might reimburse.  Can we let it go?

Thieves are law breakers and should be held accountable, but forgiving them and moving on is always up to us.  Jesus said, Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal.  For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”  (Matthew 6:19-21)  

There is certainly nothing wrong with having material possessions, as long as your material possessions do not have you!

Forgive and live.

Freed Bird

Freed Bird booksWell, I did it!  I published my first book on Amazon!  It’s a short read, but I pray that it will help someone still tied to people and events from their past, handcuffed by hatred, bound by unforgiveness.

We have to forgive ourselves and forgive others.  For the Christian, it really isn’t option.

 

But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.   ~  Jesus
(Matthew 6:15)

Order yours here:

Buy “Freed Bird” – “Learning to Forgive in Order to Live”

 

 

Dancing With the Devil

jelliesA couple of years ago, Ed and I spent the day at the aquarium to celebrate our anniversary.  We were in awe of the jelly fish display.  These strange creatures are so beautiful and graceful, like ballerinas of the sea.  We could hardly take our eyes off of them.  And yet, jelly fish are some of the most deadly creatures to encounter!  Even a light brush against one in the surf will sting for days.

 

I remember the warnings my Daddy gave me as a little girl while playing in the ocean.  “If you see this beautiful thing floating on the water that sort of looks like a  pretty flower, run from it!  Get away as fast as you can.  Even if it doesn’t appear too close, it’s tentacles will reach out underneath the waters unseen, and get you!”

Likewise, Satan (our adversary, the Devil), was the most beautiful creature that God created.  Ezekiel 28:13-17 describes his beauty, as he was covered with the most brilliant, precious stones.  His beauty led to pride, which led to his fall.  He lost his prestigious position and his place in the Kingdom of God.  We now know him as evil personified.

Satan is not the horned, red devil figure that we see in cartoons.  If his true, internal, evil nature were visible to the physical eye, we would never be tempted to have anything to do with him or his ways.  No, he will appear as the most magnificent thing we could ever imagine, and will often be hard to take our eyes off of!  He even “transforms himself as an angel of light.”  (2 Corinthians 11:14)

Like the jelly-fish, swimming/dancing/playing with Satan will prove deadly.  Even the slightest brush against him will sting for days.  Engaging him even from a seemingly safe distance is dangerous, as his undetected tentacles can and will reach out and “get you”!

You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons; you cannot partake of the Lord’s table and of the table of demons.  (1 Corinthians 10:21)

The good news is that as born-again believers, we have the very Spirit of Christ, the Holy Ghost, living inside of us.  In the Name of Jesus, we have authority to resist, renounce and cast out every work of the Devil and his host of demonic forces.  Guard  your hearts and minds, and remember who you are in Christ.  Resist the devil, and he will flee!  (James 4:7)

 

I Desire to Inspire!

SupergirlAt 53 years old, I know what I am called to do:

                     I DESIRE to INSPIRE you!

We find our true callings within our gifts and passions.  What drives and inspires us?  What are we good at?  What comes easily for us?  And what brings us the most joy?

Back in high school they do their best to direct us to find our calling and ultimate “career path”.  However, many of us did not go to college after high school.  And many of those who did were unable to find jobs in their chosen fields.  OR, they worked hard for those degrees and landed those sought-after jobs only to find out a few years in, or close to retirement, that they were completely miserable and had missed their calling.  And let’s be honest – when we walked across that high school graduation stage, who truly knew what we would do for the rest of our lives?

I loved school and did quite well for those amazing 12 years.  I have a natural gift/love of “teaching”, and thought I would follow in my father’s footsteps in becoming a junior- or senior-high school teacher!  But then I fell in love with my high school sweetheart, got engaged at 17 years old, and threw those plans out the window.  Marriage and motherhood was the “expected” plan that I laid out for my life.

Then tragedy struck within that first month of adulthood when my father passed away unexpectedly.  This threw me into a downward spiral of depression (before anyone really knew what that was).  My sweetheart and I split, and the next six years were wasted, tumultuous years of working menial office jobs and living paycheck to paycheck, partying and trying to find my place in the world.

BUT GOD!  I credit the tirelessness of a praying grandmother with my waking up one day and saying, “ENOUGH!”.

I rededicated my life to Christ and gave up the party life!

I never went back to school, despite the well-meaning advice of others.  But at the age of 33 I was called into fulltime ministry, and thus began this 20-year journey of wandering, seeking and serving.  I clung to the wise words of Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler making my life’s motto:  “Life is a journey, not a destination.”

And what a journey it has been!  The good Lord has moved me and provided for me by means I would never have dreamed!  Sure, there have been the various office jobs that came and went.  I moved around a lot and served in many church positions, finally becoming ordained myself in January of 2006.  I have worked for doctors, attorneys, pastors, and world-renowned evangelists.  I have picked up part-time restaurant gigs and tried all of the MLM’s… yes, pretty much ALL of them.  I have taught Sunday School, led Singles’ Ministries, preached on the radio, cleaned church restrooms and served as Pastor!  Most recently I found myself in elder-care, a ministry in itself for which I am told I also have a gift, and a true fondness.  But as the nature of that field is indeed “end of life” care, this week I have found myself once again without a guaranteed paycheck, and that is okay!  Despite all of the ups and downs and ins and outs of this crazy journey, I have remained faithful to my Lord and the calling on my life, and He has faithfully taken care of me.

Today I return to my passions, my gifts, and those things that bring me joy!  I have grown over these years not only in ministry, but also in my quest for natural health!  My cheerleader spirit still resides deep inside, and I encourage others to discover and be their BEST selves in spirit, mind and body, beginning wherever they are.

My cheerleader spirit still resides deep inside!

Today I am a Pastor, Speaker, Writer, Health Enthusiast and Independent Avon Representative, in that order.  I would love to come and minister/speak at your church or event.  I never charge a fee, but we do collect a love offering as the Lord leads.  I do hope you will connect with me online, in any or all of the following ways:

Blog:  Son-Seeker Blog
Website:  Free Indeed Ministries (a work in progress)
FB Ministry Page:  Free Indeed Ministries
FB Natural Health Group:  Natural Health With Our Creator
YouTube:  Free Indeed Ministries Channel
AVON FB Group:    Avon Shop’n With Robin
AVON Online Store:  Robin’s AVON Store!

Let us run with endurance the race that is set before us… (Hebrews 12:1)

 

 

What’s In a Name – or Title?

3d4b8ea666b3c0dfe8cf0329f4459882Titles.  I typically do not care for them, but it has become an issue as to how I should address myself in ministry work.  I have seen many in church leadership become so obsessed with titles that they add four or five before their names:  “Apostle-Bishop-Doctor-Prophetess-Pastor So-And-So”.  Jesus Himself addressed the “title” issue:

But you, do not be called ‘Rabbi’; for One is your Teacher, the Christ, and you are all brethren.  Do not call anyone on earth your father; for One is your Father, He who is in heaven.  And do not be called teachers; for One is your Teacher, the Christ.   (Matthew 23:8-10)

When I became an ordained minister, I grappled with what to call myself, if anything.  Leaning on the above scripture, I simply went by “Sister Robin”, which quickly became “Sista-Robin”.  But that sounded vaguely like a Catholic Nun, which I am not, and it caused a bit of confusion.  So what do we call the lady minister?

It seems proper etiquette to address those who hold certain church offices as such, deserving of the respect each commands (Pastor, Evangelist, etc.)  I believe titles should be used as more of a job description or calling, rather than accumulating them to boost one’s ego or clout.  I have no problem addressing church pastors as “Pastor So-and-So”, as that is the office they hold.  Likewise, true evangelists should be addressed as such.  And generically the term “Reverend” is used for any ordained minister, whether they are currently pastoring a church or not.  My grandfather, a pastor and church-planter, formally went by “Reverend Thomas Flynn” but was more affectionately known as “Preacher Tommy” or “Brother Flynn”.  A bit formal, “Reverend Robin” IS kind of catchy, while “Rocking Reverend Robin”, invoking the old song from the 70’s, is a bit too much.  LOL

I have never been very “formal” and have never fit the mold, nor will I.  Although a free-spirit, I AM a former pastor, Sunday School teacher, radio preacher, and evangelist. I have worn many hats in my 20 years of ministry.  But I cringed when recently referred to as “Pastor” – I feared it was inappropriate as I currently do not pastor a particular church body.  If anything, I should never wish to be disrespectful of the office or title.  I questioned my own pastor at the time about this, and he responded:

“Pastor is not relevant to church, it is for a group of people.  I think if you lead people and they follow you, it is absolutely appropriate to wear the title.”

The Lord also reminded me that church is not necessarily a building or meeting place, but rather the world-wide body of Christ.  The born-again believers are the church, wherever they find themselves on Sunday morning or Wednesday night.  I do have an on-line following and I still practice what is considered “pastoral counseling”.  My former congregation and others still reach out to me and I pray for them daily.  I suppose that still counts as “Pastor”.  The bible says that the “gifts and calling of God are irrevocable.”  (Romans 11:29)

So, you may call me Pastor; or Reverend; or Preacha – or simply call me by my name.  I am just a Jesus-loving, hippie-gypsy free spirit called to preach the Gospel of Christ, and set the captives free.