Monday, January 31, 2011



What does that word really mean?

I know we all have a general idea – most of the time, if we’re honest, we think of someone "stooping down" to do something for someone else. We think of self-sacrifice. We think of putting aside what we WANT to do, to do something we SHOULD do.

If you’re like me, you think of Jesus – the ultimate Servant.

And I’m not Jesus…

Can I share a battle I’ve been having lately?

I’ve mentioned on this blog before, that I’m part of a weekly ministry to an assisted living facility called Freedom Village. Every Friday, four of us go and present a "worship service" for the elderly residents. We sing hymns, we pray, we share. My contribution is to prepare a 10-minute message as part of the program.

For the last two months or so, I’ve been having a REALLY difficult time. It’s been VERY hard to get myself up and go.

I’ve got my reasons.

One, our ministry has now moved down to the first floor of the Health Center. And this means that the people that attend are different than they used to be. They’re much more invalid, in much worse condition physically and mentally than they used to be.

My anxieties are being challenged. I have a fear of germs – and I’m seeing some scary stuff.

Two, it’s hard to speak something "relevant" to an audience whose average age is probably in the late 80’s. Many are asleep, several are senile, most are hard of hearing – and to those who are able to listen, what can I say that MEANS anything to them?

After two years, I’m running out of ideas.

Three, there are SO many distractions to overcome. People are wheeled in late all the time. If someone starts coughing, ALL eyes go to that person. Oxygen tanks are rhythmically pumping. The PA system "pages people," and we have to stop in the middle of what we’re saying because it’s too loud to speak over. Last week, they had music piping over the PA system for the first time. I had to give my little "talk" while trying to speak louder than Frank Sinatra singing, "Come Fly With Me" and "My Way!" (I know, a little bit funny - but a lot irritating, to tell the truth...)

This isn’t quite the picture I have in mind when I think about wanting to be a "speaker."

However, does this strike anyone besides me, that I sound like an Israelite whining in the wilderness???

I’ve been struggling…

And I’ve been praying about it – a lot.

So, last Friday I’m at home, getting ready to go. And here’s the conversation I had with Jesus.

"Lord, I don’t feel like going anymore."

"I know, Sharon. But I need to be there, and you’re the only one who can drive Me there."

"But Lord, it’s not easy."

"Yes, being a servant costs something. I know that more than you."

"I don’t know what to say anymore."

"I do."

"Lord, they scare me sometimes. The stains on their clothes, the way they smell, their bruises and cuts, the things attached to them. It’s hard to touch them."

"Sharon, I touched lepers. It’s the "untouchables" that need to be touched the most."

"But there’s so many distractions, and I don’t know if anyone’s listening."

"Their hearts are. My message never goes out without bearing fruit."

"Oh Lord," I whispered quietly, "I want a bigger audience."

"Do you need a bigger audience than Me? Shine for the Audience of One, Sharon. Shine for ME."

"Oh Lord, then help me be a servant."

"I am. I’m teaching you to be MY servant."

So, I went – feeling better.

At the end of our worship service, I always go and greet each person. I shake their hands, I say their names, I look into their eyes and say how glad I am that they are there…

And last week, one woman, a woman who has never come before, grabbed my hand like a life preserver. Her mind was completely sharp. She thanked me for being there, and for the things I had said. She told me how she had studied "religion" all her life, but didn't really know too much about it. I said to her –

"But, Frances, that’s what’s different about what I believe. It isn’t a religion. It’s a RELATIONSHIP with God."

Her eyes sparkled, her mouth went wide. She looked at me like she had won the lottery. And she thanked me for telling her something she had NEVER heard before (and she’s 90). I wrote down what I had said on a piece of paper for her, and added how this relationship was possible with Jesus – nothing long, just a few sentences about God’s wonderfully "simple" Good News.

She kissed my hand, and asked if she could kiss my cheek – she was so grateful – and I was so blessed.

I don’t share this story to brag on myself. Goodness, NO! I say this only to boast on Jesus! He is so faithful…

And He is teaching me what it means to be a servant.

He’s showing me that He can change my "I don’t want to" into the desires of His heart and then He makes them MY desires…

The One who washed the feet of twelve dirty disciples, and then died a criminal’s death on an object of shame, is teaching me the glorious privilege of serving HIM.

How is Jesus calling you to be a servant?

Will you go?

After all, you just never know who HE wants to talk to!!

"And the King will say, 'I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!'" (Matthew 25:40)

BLOG = "Blessedly Leaning On God!"


  1. Hi Sharon -

    Hallelujah! that you pressed through the wiles of that serpent, Satan, who aimed to beguile you into ceasing a vital ministry. Score a huge hit for Sharon, the warrior servant for the King of kings.

    Sharon ain't no wimp, wuss or quitter. We on her team know this and we pray for her when she may not be inclined because there are "seasons" when we aren't inclined. But thanks be unto GOD that He is always inclined to frustrate the plans of Satan.

    Ezra 4:4,5 - KJV
    Then the people of the land weakened the hands of the people of Judah, and troubled them in building. And hired counsellors against them, to frustrate their purpose,...

    Interesting, Sharon, that I just "found" the subject scriptures this morning and then came here to read this. Isn't that just like GOD...?

    I so loved that the 90 year old came to share with you how your labor in our Lord is not in vain. Her words to you so encouraged and blessed my soul.

    Satan wanted to frustrate you to miss that affirmation - instead you frustrated him by pressing on! And GOD met you at your place of perseverance. The chain reaction was that you met the 90 year old at her place of need, and on and on it the mighty name of JESUS!!! Hallelujah!

    Thank you, Sharon, for your faithfulness to our Lord.


    Psalm 126:3 - KJV
    The Lord hath done great things for us; whereof we are glad.

  2. Wow! Thank you for a beautiful post of encouragement, submission and an example of sacrifice even when we don't feel like it! Thank you for adddressing some things that we all face and encouraging us to listen to the voice of our Father.

  3. I volunteer in a nursing home too. We play bingo. When I go into each person's room to get them, if they say they're feeling too sick to go, I offer to pray with them. But God is taking this deeper. Last week a sweet old guy named Earl asked if we could pray first, when we were ready to start the game. I said "Sure Earl! Why don't you lead us in a prayer?" So he started..."Oh me! Help..." And then he started crying. I went over and asked if I could pray for him, and he said yes. So I laid hands on him and prayed. And later I wondered...why haven't I done this before? Start each game day with prayer?

    I know exactly how you're feeling Sharon. I feel the same way. Some can't hear me, some can't make sense of my words, others can't see to play bingo. Sometimes someone needs a bath.

    But it's all's all...God.

  4. Sharon I was just thinking the same thing today - in fact I put it in a blog for tomorrow - some times it is easier to give certain things and other times it's harder to do things for others. I think it is where we are at the time.


  5. You are doing a wonderful thing for these
    precious people, Sharon, and God sees and
    hears all even if they sometimes don't.

  6. Hi Sharon,
    How challenging it is to be a servant. What you are doing is true service and I know the Lord will bless you and the people you touch for him. I found this post very challenging - God Bless all that you do in His Name, Sharon. Hugs - Nita.

  7. Oh I love your exchange with Jesus here! It would be exactly what He would say... I do understand everything you are feeling, my mil was in a home for 10 years and it was always hard to go there. I think He has given you a fresh perspective, and just look at what happened the last time. What a blessing Sharon!

  8. I could have written this post, Sharon, but with a different set of circumstances. Wow... I completely relate to this one. I imagine that when we get fully home to Jesus, we'll see that moments like the one you shared about here, the one-on-one moments are the ones that will sparkle the most when we review the history of our earthly tenures. One of the riches pieces of "leadership" advice I've ever received comes from my favorite author, Alicia Chole.

    "Focus on what is near not far; small not big."

    Near and small... I can't tell you how this has changed my heart. My world seems to be filled with the small these days; I struggle with envy sometimes... wishing I had a bigger sphere in which to minister the Gospel. Time and time again, God has taken me to task on the matter; time and time again, I bend. You think I'd get better at this; perhaps I am. I see some progress, but it's not always been an easy portion for me.

    Thank you for being a shining example of small and near. I want to be a better servant of the kingdom.


  9. Sharon-
    After watching you minister to these souls, with tears in my eyes- I saw the Lord, our God, work THROUGH you!
    What a blessing to witness God use you to reach this group....some would never be able to go to church, so you bring church to them.
    You are such a blessing and I am so fortunate to call you friend....
    Love you!

  10. Sandra - Thank you for your encouraging words. I sometimes don't feel like much of a warrior - so thanks for slapping my sword back in my hand! God's faithfulness conquers Satan's frustrations every time! How I needed to hear that!

    Joyfull - Thank you for your kind comment. I wasn't sure if I wanted to "bear my soul" on this one. But, I really felt like the Lord wanted me to be honest. It did my heart good to hear you say that "we all face" some of these same things.

    Debby - I was just in tears when I read your comment. Bless you for what you're doing. The story about Earl was so meaningful to me. You just never know who you're (God's) reaching, do you? It so encouraged me - the things you shared. To touch the "untouchables" - can we do anything less when we consider what Jesus did? Your last line summed it up for me - "But it's all's all...God." Amen.

    Sandie - I agree. The place where we're "at" has so much to do with our willingness to serve others. And sometimes it's so much easier to give everything else but our time. I just have to stop myself, though - and remember this - did Jesus "feel" like dying for me? His example of humble servanthood always returns to me - and I pray for His power to overcome my unwillingness.

    Sandy - Yes, that's the thing I keep returning to. I really DON'T know who I'm reaching. But there is ONE SURE THING - God is certainly reaching me in the process! He sees, He hears - He is my Audience of One - and I like to think He's applauding.

    Nita - Thanks, my friend. I certainly wasn't "patting myself on the back here" - but rather showing how God takes small steps, and turns them into bigger results. It's all about Him - it really is. And THAT is the lesson I'm learning.

    Sonja - I was so comforted by what you shared about your mil. That was very encouraging to me. You've hit on a really good thought, too. Fresh perspective - that's what God gives. He doesn't necessarily change the situation - but He changes me, my heart.

    Elaine - Oh, your honesty just blessed me. You understand. Time and time again, God is bending me, too. It frustrates me that I can't seem to turn this over to Him ONCE AND FOR ALL - and yet, it is in the learning that I seem to grow. Not very fast, sometimes - and yet, He is planting seeds of humility in my heart. Elaine, I really think it's just a matter of time before you reach even more people than you already are - your journey of faith is remarkable. Just sayin' :)

    Janet - As you know, words will never be able to express how much it meant to me to have your dear face show up last Friday. A true friend goes to support another, even when it causes them pain. I think your Dad smiled at your gift to me that day - I know I sure did!


  11. Sharon,
    I know how hard it is to go into a nursing home just to pick up one resident for a Bible Study. Hubby and I used to do that back in California many years ago. The smells, the people who seem to not be hearing, the fear of germs.

    But when my mother was out of it at a regular hospital in California, I sang hymns to her and read Scripture. Medical experts say our hearing is acute. My mother was healed, miraculously, and I know the music and Scriptures played a major role in that.

    As part of our online friendship, I am awarding you the "Stylish Blogger Award" if you would like to accept it. Just stop by my blog and pick it up.


  12. Hi Sharon,

    I along with Janis, would like you to have the "Stylish Blogger Award" I am offering it to all my friends on my blog too. You certainly deserve it. God Bless - Nita

  13. Janis - Thank you for your words of understanding. And how wonderful to read what medical experts think about our "hearing." One never knows - for the Word of the Lord doesn't just reach human ears - it also speaks to the spirit!

    Nita - How very thoughtful. Your kind words always bless me, and I am so thankful for your friendship.

    Janis and Nita - a sidenote:

    At the current time, I have opted to be an award-free blog. But, PLEASE know how very honored I am by both of you thinking of blessing me with this award. Though the award itself doesn't appear on this blog - the kindness of its awarding has a special place in my heart. Thank you so much for your kind and supportive friendships - you guys are VERY special to me.


  14. Ohhh Sharon...since I read this I have been wanting to come and let you know that I've heard that dialog and wow can I understand how you feel.

    I could never do that, so girl, as you were encouraging me or my servant heart for here, you have a greater mission and service than I could ever do! How I admire people like you and moreso that you won this battle and pressed on. Than "yowser", God was right there to confirm through that beautiful soul you touch as just one example that was able to let you know. So often, there are more that cannot let you know that are being ministered to as well. I think this is the most difficult part of the body not to forget and the most forgotten and overlooked.

    I admire people who work with the elderly daily and more the ones who come in with servant hearts to vary their mundane life and give them a real touch of God! They so deserve it! Trust me there is no greater way to be humbled. I pray God gives me this capacity more and more and soon before I am one of them. I do not have the patience or stomach for visiting nursing homes and my heart breaks so easily. I recall when we use to go pickup my last gramma and I could not take the place though I'm sure it was very clean. Also when we would take girl groups or choirs to sing... and how difficult this was.
    (Someday Lord, give me this strength like Sharon)!

    It can be a simple lesson Sharon and I'm sure they will delight like little children just don't speak down to them like children. Though their hearts and minds may not soak in all, you are doing marvelous works. Please continue in Jesus name and be blessed for your heart and diligence. There is no greater teacher than a servant!

    Bless you precious sister!!! To God be the glory! I am humbled. I am thankful. Go in the Name of Jesus! Vaya con Dios siempre!

    Que Dios te bendiga!

  15. Peggy - Gracias! It's funny, though - I've so often sat here in California, and told myself that I could never go to Mexico and do what you do! I SO admire your work there. I suppose God calls us to where He wants us to go - to where He knows we're able to go - and His call is different for each one of us. The important thing is to HEAR the call, and then to OBEY it.

    And God is SO gracious to give me encouragement. The gratitude that these dear people express to me - I am truly humbled by it. It's a sad and lonely world out there - as you well know. And people need the "touch" of Jesus - I believe that's what we're accomplishing. Literally bringing His hands and feet to those most needy.

    I can honestly say that I've spoken to them as equals - and I've been very careful to always point them to the foot of the cross. One just never knows who needs to believe - even at this point in their lives. Lately, I've felt compelled to finish my "talk" by just reading something out of Scripture. Just letting the Word of God "wash" over them. I feel those words sweep into my own spirit as I read. It's been very powerful.

    May I just finish by saying, your precious and sweet heart just shines, Peggy. It comes through in the words on your blog, and in the kind things you say here on mine. You have a passionate purpose, and I applaud YOUR vision for the Lord's work. Keep up YOUR good work for Him - I admire it tremendously!

    May we continue to support each other, mi hermana!

    GOD BLESS you always - Que Dios te bendiga! (I just love that I've learned that!!)

  16. Tears in my eyes dear hermana en Cristo Sharon,

    You fill my morning with JOY! I am so blessed to know you and learn along side you!

    This will sound morbid but I think it may have been said above (I'd have to go read'em all again) but even if they are not all there, or able to engage, or respond, THEIR SPIRIT is receiving just like those in a coma or unconscious, the Spirit still receives and is nourished by worship, prayers, praise, songs, and God's Word! So keep on shining Jesus!

    Just like you wrote the Word washes over us and blesses us just as powerfully. Different strokes for different folks but we ALL are needed parts of the Body to reach and touch others for Jesus!
    We each have our part! We each are important! We each need to serve just as you have written as the hands and feet, because if we don't go, who will? and if we don't reach, who will? and if they don't hear, we are responsible? We have the BEST GIFT...the salvation and the Holy Spirit to move us into action and be witness to the GREAT and awesome LOVE of Jesus from the Father! It's a complete package! Brilla Jesus (Shine Jesus)!

    *En el amor y la paz de Jesucristo,
    *(literally) in the love and the peace of Jesus Christ.


"So [I] have been greatly encouraged in the midst of [my] troubles and suffering, dear brothers and sisters, because you have remained strong in your faith. It gives [me] new life to know that you are standing firm in the Lord. How [I] thank God for you!" (1 Thessalonians 3:7-9)

Thanks for your comments - it is such a joy to be sharing my journey with friends like YOU!

(NOTE: Anonymous comments will be removed. Thank you for understanding.)