Monday, June 16, 2008

Join God’s army today

Good morning. This is a devotional for single adults from Parenting Solo, but the message also applies to single adults without children who may one day marry a single parent and be a step-parent. Feel Free to forward it to a friend.

Scripture: Matthew 10:9-10 (The Message) “Don’t think you have to put on a fund-raising campaign before you start. You don’t need a lot of equipment. You are the equipment, and all you need to keep that going is three meals a day. Travel light.”

After my divorce 14 years ago, I was blessed to find a path that helped me heal and grow. I found both through a loving church that I found after separating from my wife. My new church helped me see the light about my life, as well as divorce recovery classes to help me understand what I was going through. A year later, knowing how valuable that healing was, I helped start a new program at my new church, called “Just Me and the Kids.” It was a 12-week divorce recovery program written by Barb Schiller for single parents and their children. My son went through that first class. (Ironically, he missed the week on denial, and that has always been his struggle.)

I have been doing ministry for single parents ever since, mostly at the church level. Now, much of what I do is help men come to terms with who they are and to grow as a man of God. I got that same kind of coaching from my first singles pastor at my church 14 years ago. The same principles apply today. He was my Paul and I his Timothy. Today, I am mostly the Paul with other men (though I am a Timothy in my 1-year-old marriage).

I had never done ministry before in church before I started caring for and teaching other single parents. I had grown up in the church and served others in various capacities, but rarely nothing beyond raising my hand to volunteer to set up or clean up after a program or dinner. Now, I am trying to use the gifts that God gave me to care for others. On Saturday, I watched a man, who I have watched grow in the Lord up close for the past three years, get married. I told him how proud God was of his growth. Someday, I hope he comes alongside another man and helps him grow up.

It doesn’t take a seminary degree to do ministry. Jesus helped shape the life of 12 ordinary men, then sent them off to start a religion that became a following of more than a million people in just the first year. All it takes to be a harvest hand is to be ready. Indeed, “you are the equipment.” You don’t need money or anything special to do God’s work. You simply need the Bible, which means you need knowledge of the Bible, which means you need to read and study the Bible every day. It is my mission to help single parents realize how valuable they are to the kingdom. People who have not gone through a divorce don’t quite understand what it means to suffer from the break up of a marriage like someone who has gone through divorce. Here is a challenge: Be ready to be a part of someone’s life for one year when the situation presents itself. Meet with that person – it must be a same-sex situation – for one hour a week. Grieve with her, read the Bible with her, pray with her and have meals with her. That’s it. You, too, can be all you can be by joining God’s army.

How does this apply to my life?

Today’s prayer: Lord, thank you for the gifts you have given me. Help me to spread the word about joining God’s army. Thank you for making a place for everyone. Amen

Doug Mead

Parenting Solo

Copyright 2008. All rights reserved.

Vol. 3, No. 74

This week’s reading plan can be found at http:/

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