By Jarrod Spencer -
Most of you have probably heard for the song “Jesus Loves the Little Children.” It is a song that I have sung for as long as I can remember. The main verse that is sung mentions that whether you are “red, or yellow, black or white, [children] are precious in His sight.” We normally associate this with the color of one’s skin, to which it doesn’t matter, because Jesus loves all.
I want to take the concept of color into a little bit different direction. We all are a different color and together we make an awesome looking rainbow array of colors in this world.
We all have different skills, talents, favorites, desires, passions, education background, family background, and the list could go on. This brings us to this week’s quote:
The white light streams down to be broken up by those human prisms into all the colors of the rainbow. Take your own color in the pattern and be just that. – Charles R. Brown
If you’ve never had the chance to ‘break light’ with a prism, it is really a pretty cool thing to see. What seems like just ‘light’ becomes red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet. Plus, there are variations of each one. There are more intense colors within a color and more dull colors within a color.
Our world is much the same way. The light will come down and be broken up into all of us. People made up of all types of talents, passions, desires, goals, etc.
We are not all administratively minded.
We are not all passive.
We are not all OCD.
We are not all parents.
We are not all CEOs.
We are not all miners.
We are not all artists.
We are not all musicians.
…get the point?
You are a person of color. Not pertaining to the color of your skin, but to what you are ‘composed’ of, inside. Sometimes you’ve been molded to become a certain color, people may have encouraged you to pursue something that you wouldn’t have tried, so they helped you become the color you are.
Appreciate whatever color you are…whether you are red, or yellow, black or white, you are still “precious in His sight” and your color is who you are.
And who you are is awesome!
Enjoying my ‘color’!
“He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of all he created” (James 1:18 NIV).
By Jarrod Spencer -
2013 is upon us. Did you resolve to do anything this year? How is that going? Of course, we’re only a few days into the year, so hopefully you haven’t lost any “battles” with your resolve thus far.
I didn’t make a resolution, just a goal to read through the Bible with a “One Year Bible.” It has been going well.
I came across this quote at the end of last year and thought it may be a good “resolve” for some to think about in 2013. It focuses on how to have a happy year and also how to create one for others.
With that said, let’s look at this poem from Edgar Guest…
A happy New Year! Grant that I
May bring no tear to any eye
When this New Year in time shall end
Let it be said I’ve played the friend,
Have lived and loved and labored here,
And made of it a happy year.
- Edgar Guest
So often we think about how we can create a New Year’s resolution that will benefit ourselves. This poem suggests that when we go about the year let’s not just think of ourselves, but think of others.
How will you benefit others?
PRAYER: Dear God, Show me how to touch Your world in 2013.
By Jarrod Spencer -
People will sometimes ask me what made me choose to begin a career in ministry. I may disappoint some when I don’t have this eureka-like experience of feeling “called” to this position.
I didn’t have ministry on my radar at all growing up. I fell in love with the work of the manager/trainer in high school. I started out as the “water boy” type of person. Just your typical freshman who was the errand boy and carried the equipment out to practice and games, along with making sure there was water for the players. I was pretty much the bottom of the barrel in the way of popularity and respect. However, there was something about it that I greatly enjoyed. My pursuit of this career took me through college and two years as a professional trainer at a community college.
Somewhere during my last year and a half of college and my two years in the profession of being an athletic trainer and instructor, my focus started to shift toward ministry. It piqued my interest and I gathered some advice. Soon, I decided to go into something I never thought I would be even remotely interested in pursuing.
It didn’t take long to realize that I love ministry. As a person who has several talents, ministry has allowed me to use those talents to touch the lives of many people.
As you can see, there really was no “Aha!” moment, but rather the idea of ministry came through influence and something inside of me that seemed to click with the profession. One thing that I have always had a difficult time doing is fitting into a “box” when it came to ministry.
I did not want to have the stigma that was attached to ministers. I have always liked to be real and approachable. I want people to still be themselves even when a “preacher” is around. I love the opportunities that have come about through being in ministry to help people. These are some of the priceless moments.
A few years back, a church was looking for a minster and listed the following phrases in their job opening: “long hours, little pay, great retirement benefits.” They were being lighthearted with their advertising, but for most of us who work in ministry, this holds true.
Most don’t realize how much goes on in a minister’s life. It is generally not a physically laborious position, but there is a lot that goes into the mental side of things. We are always “on duty” in the eye of the public. We must be wary of the way we conduct ourselves for threat of rumor that can dampen our influence. We are not done at 5:00 PM, for someone can call us at a moment’s notice. We try to please everyone.
Some even think we work for them instead of Him.
Each minister or pastor has their various passions. Each has their own delivery style. Each one is different. However, this is important; each minister has feelings and runs out of steam once in a while. I hope you take the time to embrace and encourage your minister throughout the year. You have no idea of all that happens behind the scenes.
Let’s appreciate those who serve us!
PRAYER: Father, thank You for all the opportunities I have had to serve others in the way of ministry. I appreciate You so much for giving me the opportunity.
“Just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Matthew 20:28 NIV).
By Jarrod Spencer -
Planning in life can have its good qualities but also can have its bad. I have areas in which I am flexible, but there are also parts of life which I might be described as inflexible. I have a side of me that likes to have things go a certain way each day. But there is also a side of me that enjoys some unplanned things. Of course those are subjective, so I may prefer some and not prefer others.
Even though a side of me is resistant to being flexible, another side looks forward to the possibility of interruptions. I have had days where God threw me a curve ball and I had to switch gears very quickly. Those are the days when I look forward to what He might be sending me. There have been some very interesting curve balls thrown at me through the years.
What have you experienced in the “unplanned” department?
This topic reminds me of a quote by Joseph Campbell, “We must be willing to let go of the life we have planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us.”
Trying to hold on to the planned in life can be dangerous and wearisome. It binds us to where we are. If we have our minds ready for the unplanned, then we have a sense of freedom which we can go about life without being confided or holding on to the plans and seeing what God will bring our way.
As you go about today, tomorrow, or next week, you may have to plan out certain parts of your day but be ready for the interruptions and unplanned things that are going to come about. You never know what is waiting for you up ahead…God might have something super exciting for you!
PRAYER: Thank You, Father for teaching me that even when I have plans, Your plans are higher and greater. Help me to submit to what You bring into my life.
“May he give you the desire of your heart and make all your plans succeed” (Psalm 20:4 NIV).
By Jarrod Spencer -
Some things in life I think will never change, especially when living in the moment. However, other things, over the years, have seemed to change. Like a child, who seems to grow faster when I am not around him. Things in life seem to change more when you look back on their progress.
Film for cameras is one of those things that have changed drastically over the past ten years. The change is that you practically cannot find film in an average store. There simply is not a market for it anymore. Cameras have gone to digital formats and trying to find film is virtually impossible in the average department store.
Recently I saw a rerun where someone received a gift of a “filmed” camera for a Christmas gift. This scene started me to think about how film was something which seemed timeless. However, it did have its time.
What about some other things in life that have been around for years? What about tires for our vehicles? Will there ever be something that is just as comfortable but maybe doesn’t need any air to maintain a level for a good ride. Also one that has a lot more wear on them? Could they not be made out of rubber but, rather, a chemical mixture to create the substance? You may think “No, we’ll always have tires.” I think that, too. But I also thought we’d always have film in cameras.
What will the differences in the churches look like in 2022? Will there be much of a change in some of the churches by that time? Will songbooks or Bibles be practically useless? Will some churches go back to house church only or “sit at home and watch on your computer?” Will we become more casual or go back to more dressed up? Whatever does happen will affect the way we share our faith with others. Ponder it…what will be the trend in 2022?…it will be interesting to find out!
Prayer: Father, we are but specks in Your world. We do not know what the future holds, only You do. May we submit to what Your future holds. We look forward to the future knowing You’re in control.
“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever” (Hebrews 13:8 NIV).