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"Things" that Matter

And I will bring the blind by a way that they knew not; I will lead them in paths that they have not known: I will make darkness light before them, and crooked things straight. These things will I do unto them, and not forsake them. Isaiah 42:16

Hi guys! I have been away for a little, taking the first part of a well-needed vacation. I decided to do a "road trip" this year! I have been so focused on organizing and establishing the ministry that God gave to me that I have not taken a true "retreat" since 2018. I have had a few days here and there, but I have just been flooring the gas pedal to meet the ambitious goal of finally opening the first phase of Narda Pella (LLC) Lifestyle Ministries. I had been pregnant with this dream of "the rod of an almond tree" for many years.

Moreover, the word of the Lord came unto me, saying, Jeremiah, what seest thou? And I said, I see a rod of an almond tree. Then said the Lord unto me, Thou hast well seen: for I will hasten my word to perform it.

-- Jeremiah 1: 11,12 --

A group of us as young adults had made plans to move to the Atlanta area to open up a Seventh Day Adventist Restaurant and Lifestyle Services Center. I moved from New York to jumpstart preparation for this ambitious pursuit by signing up for a Medical Missionary Class.

I wanted to be able to do my part. But life happened, and our group plans were postponed and then abandoned. Yet I still had that dream. Many years have passed, and walla! Narda Pella has opened its doors to the world! LOL! Though "a small start", it is also a big step! (Click to learn more about our ambitious projects that I will be promoting in the near future). There have been major challenges along the way, and still are, but I am proud of the progress and pray for wider horizons. God is gracious and extremely faithful!

Why am I on this thought trajectory? I have been rightly busy doing "things that matter,": teaching, working, mothering, building, learning, studying, laughing, crying, singing, making money, and accomplishing almost every single thing on my bucket list...yet I still feel a void.

Something is not quite how I would like it. I have been feeling this way for a while now, and though I have a very good job, ...I am not a hundred percent passionate about it anymore. You have probably been there too.

I am " burnt out" working in a strictly secular field of work, where God has become almost, if not totally, unwelcome. I have been on a road trip of thoughts and prayer, asking God to lead me in straight paths for my feet: If I had the money to quit my job today and immerse myself in Narda Pella Lifestyle Center, I would gladly do so immediately. Here in lies my love and joy: freedom to live a dedicated carefree but hard-working Christian life! I would be able to incorporate all my passion areas of being a missionary, a teacher, and a healthy lifestyle coach, while still being flexible and available to my family. I know there are people who may say, " but you can be a missionary in any job!" True, but not the way God seems to be calling me to use His gifts.

I have received many beautiful gifts of things, talents, and opportunities in my life: art, speech, writing, smiling, resilience, perseverance, laser-eye focus, reflective thinking, and teaching. I have achieved a certain level of education: a Bachelor of Science in Psychology and a Master in Teaching. I am NAD Certified and a certified Lifestyle Educator and Coach, a Medical Missionary; I have been in leadership positions since I was a teen: Sabbath School Teacher, Secretary, Personal Ministry Assistant, Bible Worker, Counselor, Community Outreach: Feeding the Poor, Youth Ministries, Deaf Ministries Outreach, Health Director, and Community Health Fair Coordinator. I have traveled to more places than most of my peers. I have accomplished much on the secular scale, and spiritual scale, but today as I look at all these "things", they mean nothing if I cannot use them 100% for the cause of guilt-free soul-winning, spiritual inspiration or motivation. These are good gifts but not the most essential or best gifts.

But covet earnestly the best gifts: and yet shew I unto you a more excellent way.

1 Corinthians 12:31

Some people's love language is to receive beautiful gifts. It is nice to receive a bouquet of flowers, a cashmere scarf, a favorite cake, or a fragrant perfume or cologne, but my love language is receiving gifts of an entirely different nature. My favorite gifts and possessions have not been accomplishments, nor accolades; not gifts, no matter how priceless...

The "things that matter" more to me have been people: strangers, friends, family, children, "spouse", ...God.

I value people above transactions or fame. If I should be utterly transparent: I value the souls of people more than I value myself (within balance, of course!). I spend my last money to help people, so that they may somehow meet Christ. I travel hundreds of miles so that relationships may be nurtured that will form bridges of hope for wayward feet and

open channels of communication that God and His word will always have an entrance, no matter how tiny. To me, on my thought journey..., no sacrifice is too great, no accomplishment so noteworthy, that I can't lay them down to work in "the dust of people's greatest need"--a loving relationship with God for eternity." This makes me joyful.

And I will bring the blind by a way that they knew not;

My reasons for vacationing have changed over the years. A vacation is never truly a vacation for me if, during that retreat, my attention is solely on self-pleasure and not constantly looking for ways to help soften or awaken the hearts of all with whom I am spending time. Amidst fun and laughter, I want them to also ponder on "what am I doing with Christ, the "thing" that truly matters most.

Prayer: Lord, while I am on the second part of my road trip in July, pray for me that I will accomplish the desires of my heart...that I may touch the hearts of my loved ones and strangers alike... and while "working", help me to keep listening to know if you are telling me to lay down my secular crown, and take up the one that matters most...your crown of thorns: Your will and not mine. Your way and not mine. Faith and not Fear, Confidence and not doubt. I pray not only for myself... but for all those like myself, who may be halting between two opinions. Help me to know when you open the door you want me to walk through and obey your voice. In the meantime, help me to heed your command to "make straight paths for your feet, lest that which is lame be turned out of the way; but let it rather be healed. Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord: Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; ..." (Hebrews 12:13-15). Thank you, in Christ's precious name, amen.

Song to Encourage: People Need the Lord

Lyrics: People Need the Lord (Steve Green)

I pray for you a wonderful day

in the love of the Lord!

Taste. Enjoy! Respond. Like! Share. Be encouraged!

To learn more about Narda Pella, click on the logo and it will take you to our home page.


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