“Pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world.” ~James 1:27
Say this over and over, would you, my sweet friends?
Typically I cringe at the word religion. I know some of you are thinking “What? That’s why I follow this Chick, she’s religious!” To be honest, the world has taken a hold of that word and has twisted it into “works in order for salvation“. So, I try very hard to drive the words “I have faith”, rather than “I am religious”.
All that to say…God knew all of this.
He knew we would want to work diligently in front of an audience… as if people could save.
He knew that we would want to give to those who could return the favor…as if that’s sacrifice.
He knew that we would want to control our lives through worldy gain…as if that’s faith.
Why am I writing this? I’m a food blogger.
As I was driving to my interview for Grad school (many of you know I’m back in school to be a clinical counselor) I was listening to my praise music. As I was thinking about what this interview would be like, the words by “King and Country” were playing in the background :
Let my life be the proof,
The proof of Your love
Let my love look like You and what You’re made of
How You lived, how You died
Love is sacrifice
So let my life be the proof,
The proof of Your love
If I give to a needy soul but don’t have love then who is poor?
It seems all the poverty is found in me.
I started thinking about my life as a believer. Its been busy. Its been hard. Its been amazingly miraculous, unlike anything this world has ever given me.
Through open arms (often times hesitantly open), God has given me opportunities to serve Him. This blog is more than a food blog because I’m more than a foodie. I wish I could stay in a bubble, but I can’t and won’t because that’s not where God wants me. He wants me to follow his lead. I’m good with that.
So, through leading women’s bible studies, in-person and on-line meal ministries, serving people in the community, public speaking, and now my future in counseling, I have felt a certain calling.
As I was asked in my interview, ” Janelle, what direction would you like to go in counseling?”. My answer was “in women’s studies”….
When I look at that verse above, my heart includes, “the abandoned and/or abused.” I truly put women (with or without children), who have been left behind, in a category next to “widows in distress”. I know it’s not there. I’m not trying to change the bible. But, look at this fallen world. How could we turn our heads to this population? Does it break your heart as much as it does mine? Have you been there? Is someone you know there right now? Have you ever been to a battered women’s shelter? Did you live in one growing up…was your mom abused? Do you know what I’m saying?
Jesus sure did.
My eyes are flooding with tears as He just reminded me of this as I have been writing. Please know, this wasn’t the direction of my blog post. Again, He’s guiding me. He’s reminding me of “The Woman at the Well, Mary Magdalene, and the Adulteress” …. He too has a heavy heart for women living under extreme difficulties. Ohhh, thank you Jesus for reminding me. What a comfort.
Please also know, I love men too. I’m married to one, I’m raising one, there are quite a few in my family. My pastor is one. I’ve made plenty of widowers meals and will continue to do so. But, for some reason, God has me ministering to women and I’m not going to ask any questions.
It’s so amazing how God can use each and every one of us for His good and for His glory. I just wanted to share with you the way he’s using me now….
How is he using you?
A video from the Women Living Well Conference…”Your Ministry”.