God Uses Ordinary People to Fulfill the Hopes of Other Ordinary People

Thanks for visiting this web-site. We also invite you to view our other web-site Ray of Hope Ministries On-Line Bible Study www.rohmbible.wordpress.com

Recently we published the book shown below in the form of an e–book. We invite you to read, copy, or down-load it free at this  web-site:  

       http://www.pastorrayhopesfulfilled.wordpress.com/home

              HOPES FULFILLED

                  A Spiritual Autobiography

                             

     How God fulfilled the faith-based hopes

         of an ordinary guy from Jersey City

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                             God Uses Ordinary People

            to Fulfill the Hopes of Other Ordinary People

In my pre-teen years, when  I was growing up in Jersey City, I totally relied on my parents to provide me with everything I needed and wanted, alonvg with money I received as  birthday and Christmas gifts from my close relatives. So during those years I never thought about having a job to earn money. However, the time came when I wanted some things my mother wasn’t willing to buy for me. Nothing all that expensive, but some things that would cause my mother to say to me “money doesn’t grow on trees”. A bottle of soda from the candy store around the corner now and then was okay, but a soda every day was something else.

When I was older I realized that my parents had experienced the Great Depression of the 1930s, when people had to save every last penny that they could. However, in my childhood years I continued to ask my mother for money to buy those extra sodas and other things like that. Each time I hoped she would relent and give me what I saw was just a few cents that I needed. But as far as I could see, my hopes were not being fulfilled. At the time I didn’t see that God might have been using my mother to teach me a lesson about the difference between hope and wishful thinking. It would take another 50 years or so for me to realize that.

Anyway, when I was about 11 or 12 years old my mother came up with an idea to deal with my “need” for more money than she was willing to give me. She gave me a job. My job was to do some house cleaning. Every time I dusted or vacuumed in a room, or washed the dishes, or did some other routine household chore, she would pay me what she thought was fair for that particular chore. I don’t remember that the pay was very much, but it was enough to assure that some of my hopes for the money I wanted were being fulfilled. Again, I didn’t ever consider that God might have been involved in this, or what would happen next.

When I turned 13 my mother’s brother, my Uncle Bill (Wiliam J.Ochs,Jr.), who owned an electrical contracting business, hired me for a part time after school job to do some routine cleaning in his shop and store and wash his trucks every week. For this I received a salary. It wasn’t much, but enough to get more of those little things that I felt I must have. More of my hopes were being fulfilled. But again, I didn’t see God involved in any of this.

I was still only age 13 when I entered Lincoln High School. Now I began to want some things that were beyond what I could buy with the pay from my part-time job.  And I noted that my new best friend also had apart-time job, and he was being paid a lot more than I was. So I wanted a job like that. But to have that kind of job you had to have “working papers” from the city authorities, and to do that you had to be at least 14 years old, as was my friend. Today I realize that God chose that time and situation to help me learn about the need for patience when it comes to your hopes being fulfilled.

Soon after I turned 14 I got my working papers and an after school job (including a half day Saturday).which I had already been promised by Ralph Underwood, who operated the corner drug store which bore his name, on the corner of West Side and Lexington Avenues, about a block away from my home. The job included cleaning the store and sometimes waiting on customers, but the primary purpose was to deliver prescriptions to customers.

Just before I was hired, the first minimum wage law took effect. I believe the minimum wage at that time was set at one dollar an hour, which told me that I would be paid about 15 dollars a week. However, I quickly learned that I wasn’t going to be paid that amount. It turned out that the minimum wage didn’t apply to small businesses like Mr. Underwood’s. I believe I ended up with 75 cents an hour, or about 11 dollars a week plus tips, which probably brought the average total to about $15 per week. It immediately enabled me to have some of those things I saw as needed over the past few years. My hopes were being fulfilled, but still – I didn’t see that God was in any way involved.

I kept that job for the next three years, until a few months before I enlisted in the U.S.Navy, which was my first full-time job. I don’t recall anything much about working in that job as the delivery boy. For the most part it was very routine. Except for one thing that has remained in my memory for over 50 years.

I found that the usual tip for a delivery of a prescription to someone’s home was 25 centswas 25 cents (this was in the 1950s). Occasionally, the tip would be 50cents or even a dollar. However, at the other extreme, there was one elderly lady who I delivered to at least once a week. She always thanked me profusely and let me know how happy she was to give me this nickel tip. At first I resented that she was so “cheap”. But then I realized that, like so many Americans, including my own family, she had  also experienced hard times during the Great Depression of the 1930s, when a nickel was probably a generous tip. And, like myself today, she probably found it difficult to imagine that inflation had significantly increased tips for delivery boys, along with the items being delivered. I’m sure she really did believe that she was giving me a generous tip.

I also came to realize something else about this lady. She always invited me to have a seat in her kitchen. Then she would tell me about things which didn’t really mean much to me. She would tell me the same things over and over again. At first, this bothered me because it was taking up a lot of time, which made it difficult to get to other customers before my usual quitting time. So I would end up working late. But then, just as I came to accept the idea that she honestly thought she was being generous with the nickel tip, I came to understand that there was a reason that I ended up always sitting in her kitchen and listening to her talk for an extended period of time.

I realized that she experienced my delivery as a personal home visit. More and more, it sounded like my time with her was the highlight of of her life for the week. She was a very lonely person. So I came to see my presence with her, not as an inconvenience to be endured, but as the right thing to do. And many years later, when I began to understand how God often works with through, and for people, I realized that every day that elderly woman must have been hoping that someone would pay her a visit. I don’t know if she prayed about this, but now I know that God knew what she was hoping for, and that her hope for a visit was part of God’s will for her, and while I didn’t know it at the time, God was using this ordinary teenage kid to fulfill the hopes of this little old ordinary woman. At the same time, again unknown to her or me at the time, God was using this woman to fulfill my yet to be formed hope that God would use me to participate in fulfilling his will, his plans , and his purposes.

There are a lot of things about how God works in peoples lives that we don’t know as he is doing his work. But at the same time, I now do know without a doubt, from my own experience and that of others, that God uses ordinary people like you and me to fulfill the hopes of other ordinary people likeyou and me, in his time and in his way.

Grace and peace, Ray

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Thanks for your attention. We look forward to hearing your comments about our web-site. We also invite you to send us stories of your experiences and observations of present hopes and hope fulfilled, so we can spread them around the world via this web-site. This is one way we can all join together to help keep hope alive.

May God be with you,

Patty Perez and Ray Gough

Posted in Faith, God, God's Will, Hope, Inspiration, Jersey City, Life Style, Love, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

God Loves You – Not Just As Part Of A Category – But As A Beloved Individual

Thanks for visiting this web-site. We also invite you to view our other web-site Ray of Hope Ministries On-Line Bible Study www.rohmbible.wordpress.com

Recently we published the book shown below in the form of an e–book. We invite you to read, copy, or down-load it free at this  web-site:                                                                                    http://www.pastorrayhopesfulfilled.wordpress.com/home.

              HOPES FULFILLED

                  A Spiritual Autobiography

                             

     How God fulfilled the faith-based hopes

         of an ordinary guy from Jersey City

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As I read an item in the newspaper today, I was reminded that this is the time of year when the advertising/entertainment industry is making decisions about what TV shows will be available for us to watch in September. Some familiar TV shows will be enthusiastically renewed for another year. Some will be renewed, but it is questionable if they will last much longer. And there are those which without a doubt will be cancelled, even some which had excellent ratings over the past year.

In this newspaper article, and others like it, there is usually a brief explanation as to why some shows with excellent rating will be cancelled. Sometimes it isn’t that nobody is watching, but that according to the market research by the advertising/ entertainment industry, enough of the right people weren’t watching. The right people being those who collectively are most influenced by and most likely buy the advertised products and services. The advertising/entertainment industry has further determined that currently the right people are those between the ages of 25-49. In these times a show which isn’t reaching that age group in significant numbers is likely to be cancelled, even if the ratings for those age 50 and over are excellent.

The truth is that the advertising/entertainment industry at this time places a high value on the younger age group because that group spends a lot more money on the advertised products and services. The older age group spends a lot less and therefore is given little or no value by the advertising/entertainment. That might change in a few years if spending patterns within categories change.

As time goes by, I have become more and more aware that the advertising/ entertainment industry, and a lot of other industries, have placed me in that category of people who are not greatly influenced by, and therefore don’t spend much money on, what they are advertising. That really annoyed me over the last few years, as more and more of my favorite TV shows were cancelled, until now there aren’t many left that I enjoy watching, and only rarely do I discover something new that I consider worth watching.

To me that’s bad news. But that bad news doesn’t bother me anymore. That’s because my faith is such that in the midst of bad news there is there is always and ultimately good news. There is always hope when things look hopeless, if what you are hoping for is in accordance with God’s will and plan. The good news is that God can and does understand each one of us as individuals. In fact, God understood us as individuals even before he created us. All human beings were, are, and always will be created by God in the image of God. This doesn’t mean we look like God in a physical sense, but we do have some of the characteristics of God. They might be tarnished and difficult to see, but they are still there. I believe the most important of those characteristics is the ability to love each other as individuals. If this were not so, Jesus would not have told us that the second greatest commandment, after loving God, is to love our neighbor. God has enough love for all of us, and all he wants is for us to accept his love and participate with him in sharing his love with each other (even the ones who cancel our favorite TV shows).

My message to you is that you always remember that God’s love for you, and your value to God, is not based on what category the world places you in. We were all created with love by God in order to participate with God in receiving and giving love to him and each other. In the midst of bad news that’s something to hope for. At the same time it is part of God’s will and plan for all of us. And when what we hope for is in agreement with God’s will and plan for us, individually and collectively, then God will surely fulfill those hopes. I know that’s the truth, because I have experienced it in my own life (74 years), over and over again. God has demonstrated his love for me and everyone else and made it possible for me to love everyone else. At the same time God has made it possible for other people to demonstrate their love for me – not just as part of a category, but as a beloved individual.

Grace and peace, Ray

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Thanks for your attention. We look forward to hearing your comments about our web-site. We also invite you to send us stories of your experiences and observations of present hopes and hope fulfilled, so we can spread them around the world via this web-site. This is one way we can all join together to help keep hope alive.

May God be with you,

Patty Perez and Ray Gough

Posted in Bad News, Faith, God, God's grace, God's Will, Good News, Hope, Life Style, Love, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

HOPES FULFILLED – A Spiritual Autobiography

Thanks for visiting this web-site. We also invite you to view our other web-site Ray of Hope Ministries On-Line Bible Study www.rohmbible.wordpress.com

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Recently I published the book shown below in the form of an e–book. I invite you to read, copy, or down-load it free at this  web-site:                                                                                    http://www.pastorrayhopesfulfilled.wordpress.com/home.

              HOPES FULFILLED

                  A Spiritual Autobiography

                             

     How God fulfilled the faith-based hopes

         of an ordinary guy from Jersey City

 

Following is an explanation as to what this book is about:

*After experiencing a relatively comfortable middle class life for 44 years, I ended up at the lowest point in my life.

*I was able to get through it all and move on to some of the highest points in my life.

*I experienced God in all of this, and eventually came to know the true nature and purpose of God (God is Love).

*I came to see that God was always working in and through my life, even when I didn’t know it.

*No matter how bad things seemed to be or really were, God always fulfilled my faith-based hopes – in his time and in his way.

While this book tells the story of much of my life, it really isn’t about me and what I have done. It is really my testimony as to what our extraordinary God has done, using an ordinary guy from Jersey City (that’s me) to play a small part in participating in God’s business of establishing his “kingdom on earth as it is in heaven”, in which I believe everyone and everything will live with the peace, love, and joy of God.

I hope this book will help assure or reassure you that nothing in your life has been, is, or will be, simply a result of personal luck (good or bad), or knowledge about the world, or circumstances under or beyond your control. All of these things, as well as people you experience along the way, will somehow be involved to some extent in shaping your life. However, ultimately your life depends on your relationship with God.

To the extent that you listen to and discern, understand, and say “yes” to what God wants to do with, through, and for you, you will begin or continue to be on the road to becoming the person God created you to be, doing what God created you to say and do. And whatever that is, it will be good, because “God is good, all the time,and all the time, God is good”. You will experience a life of success. And if, like myself, you spent much of your life trying to be successful on your own, without seeking and obeying God’s plans for you, it is never too late to start. Even if it is in the last moments of your life in this world. You will then leave this world knowing that you will spend eternity (that is, forever) with God as He continues to use you for his purposes.

Grace and peace,  Ray

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Thanks for your attention. We look forward to hearing your comments about our web-site. We also invite you to send us stories of your experiences and observations of present hopes and hope fulfilled, so we can spread them around the world via this web-site. This is one way we can all join together to help keep hope alive.

May God be with you,

Patty Perez and Ray Gough

Posted in Discernment, Eternity, Faith, God, God's Will, Good News, Hope, Inspiration, Love, obedience, Spiritual Autobiography, Spirituality, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Don’t Worry About the Weather

Thanks for visiting this web-site. We also invite you to read and/or downloaded free, Ray Gough’s e-book (published June 2014) Hopes Fulfilled – A Spiritual Autobiography at http://www.pastorrayhopesfulfilled.wordpress.com/home.

We also invite you to view our other web-site Ray of Hope Ministries On-Line Bible Study www.rohmbible.wordpress.com

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As I’m writing this blog a few days before the formal first day of summer in the USA, I’m thinking back to the winter which we experienced only a few months ago. To my mind it was one of the worst winters we’ve had in many years. Even the TV weather forecasters reminded us of this at least once a week. During those dark, dreary, snowy, cold months I remember looking forward to Ground Hog Day (Feb.2). On that day I said what I’ve been saying for a good many years, “it really doesn’t matter whether or not the ground hog in Punxatawny, Pennsylvania sees his shadow on that date. What matters is that the presence of that ground hog means that sooner or later, the weather will get better. Winter will eventually end, spring will arrive and we will again experience the summer weather we’ve all been longing for.

Once again, I was right. The last few days the sun has been shining. The temperature has been in the 80’s and it’s predicted that there are some 90 degree days coming this week. I wasn’t right about all this because I have any special ability to forecast the weather or any particular influence with God concerning the weather.  I used to think I did, but eventually I realized I was wrong when, despite my prayers, it rained during two consecutive outdoor Easter sunrise services, and there was a real downpour during the Memorial Day parade one year.  I discovered that when it comes to the weather my hopes are not always in agreement with God’s will. If you have been reading this blog for the last few years, you know what I always say. “If your hopes are in agreement with God’s will, God will fulfill those hopes. If not, then your hopes are just wishful thinking. “

I also came to realize that when it comes to the weather, it’s best to leave it in God’s hands. Don’t worry about the weather. Just accept whatever comes along. Because ultimately, like it or not, it’s going to go God’s way anyway. God knows just what weather is needed not to make us happy, but to assure that life goes on in the world. according to the laws of nature which God established when he created the universe.

Of course, this advice not to worry is not limited to the weather. Despite our human efforts to control just about everything, God is in control of everything needed for life, even when it doesn’t look that way. In the Bible (Matthew 6:25-34, Luke 12:22-31), Jesus says that we shouldn’t worry about things like food, clothing, and other basic material needs of life, because God knows what we need and in one way or another, will provide those things, in his time and his way. Instead, make a commitment to begin or continue to live in accordance with God’s will, guidance and direction, as though you are living here and now in the  kingdom of God on earth as it is in heaven, which God will fully establish, in his time and his way. If you do that, you won’t have to worry (or complain) about the weather. Because God will give you all the grace  you need to live with peace, love, and joy (again, in God’s time and God’s way), regardless of the weather. So don’t worry about the weather, or anything else, for that matter.  Remember, worry won’t change anything, but God does and God will.

Grace and peace,  Ray

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Thanks for your attention. We look forward to hearing your comments about our web-site. We also invite you to send us stories of your experiences and observations of present hopes and hope fulfilled, so we can spread them around the world via this web-site. This is one way we can all join together to help keep hope alive.

May God be with you,

Patty Perez and Ray Gough

 

 

 

 

Posted in Bible, Faith, God, God's grace, God's Will, Ground Hog Day, Hope, Life Style, nature, obedience, Summer, Uncategorized, Weather, Winter, Worry | Leave a comment

Wait And Pray To Be Filled And Reconditioned By The Holy Spirit

Thanks for visiting our web-site. We also invite you to view our newest web-site – Ray of Hope Ministries On-Line Bible Study. click here www.rohmbible.wordpress.com
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On Sunday, June 8, along with most Christians, I will remember and celebrate Pentecost. You can read the story of Pentecost in the Bible (Acts 1 and 2). In a few moments I’ll say more about Pentecost. But first, I’m going to talk about my saxophone. Now you might wonder what my saxophone has to do with Pentecost. So let me explain.

Somewhere around the time of Pentecost a few years ago, when I was still serving as a full-time pastor (I’m now retired), my saxophone wasn’t sounding or acting like it should. It became clear that it really needed to  be professionally reconditioned, especially since I was soon going to be playing it at the Navy Musicians Reunion ( I once served as a U.S. Navy Musician). Once I had the work done at a nearby music store, my saxophone again sounded and acted like it was supposed to. Now whenever there was something wrong with the sound, it was my fault, not the saxophone’s.

On the other hand, it still didn’t look like it did 45 years before, when I bought it in Nice , France, while I was serving as a US Navy Musician in the band on the aircraft carrier USS Saratoga. It didn’t have that shine anymore. The surface was dull and worn. However, you could still se the name of the manufacter – “Selmer”. Among musicians that was and still is a name that gets great respect. It means that your instrument is of the highest quality. When I dropped the horn off at the music store to be reconditioned, the person I left it with declared “Oh, it’s a Selmer”. I thunk I saw her eyes light up. She was impressed with this horn, despite its appearance.

So what does this have to do with Pentecost. It reminds me that, like my saxophone, the first disciples of Jesus, spent some time in a “repair shop”.  Ten days before, just before Jesus ascended into heaven, he told them that before they proceeded with the work he was giving them they needed to go back to that room in Jerusalem and wait to be filled with the Holy Spirit, who would tell them how to proceed.

During the next ten days, while they were there waiting and praying, the Holy Spirit was working on them. As with my saxophone, their outward appearance was not changed. What did change on Pentecost was their performance- their sound, their words, their ways. Despite the danger they faced, they began to publicly proclaim to the world that Jesus is our Lord and Savior. Many believed.

One of the best things that followers of Jesus (and those who might consider becoming his followers – regardless of their religious faith) can do at any time, but especially as we celebrate Pentecost, is to invite the Holy Spirit to work on and in us for some repairs, renewal, revitalization, rejuvenation, and reconditioning.  Physically, we won’t look any better, but the Holy Spirit will change us, so that what we say and do, on and after Pentcost, will help the world to believe in and know Jesus as Lord and Savior.

Grace and peace,  Ray

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Thanks for your attention. We look forward to hearing your comments about our web-site. We also invite you to send us stories of your experiences and observations of present hopes and hope fulfilled, so we can spread them around the world via this web-site. This is one way we can all join together to help keep hope alive.

May God be with you,

Patty Perez and Ray Gough

 

Posted in Bible, Discernment, Faith, God, Good News, Holy Spirit, Hope, Inspiration, Life Style, Love, Navy, Pentecost, Spirituality, Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Hope Fulfilled, In God’s Time and God’s Way

Thanks for visiting our web-site. We also invite you to view our newest web-site – Ray of Hope Ministries On-Line Bible Study. click here www.rohmbible.wordpress.com
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About 35 years ago the pastor of my church (Rev.Lloyd Applegate) and his wife Joanne, made a trip to Israel. They brought back with them a small gift for everyone in the congregation. The gift was a simple cross made of olive wood from the Garden of Gethsemane. Before I received that gift, I never wore a cross of any kind. After I received that cross it I began to wear it regularly. At first I saw it as a non-verbal way of letting people know, and reminding myself, that I was a Christian – a follower of Jesus. The presence of the cross on my person was a reminder of the presence of God in my life.

Over the years I acquired a number of additional crosses. These were more elaborate than an old wooden cross. I usually wore these to church and church related meetings and activities. However, whenever I was engaged in the ordinary routines of life out in the world I always wore that old wooden cross. Until about a year ago. It wasn’t that I made a decision to stop wearing that cross. The reason was that I lost the cross.

Now, I’m not an absent minded person who is always misplacing and losing things. Nevertheless, there are times when I can’t find something I was only recently using. I know where that item is supposed to be, but it isn’t there. So I begin a search, tracing my steps from when I last used that item to the present. All during my search I am hoping that I will find the missing item. And my hope is usually fulfilled. I do find the missing item.

As I said, about a year ago, I lost my old wooden cross. It wasn’t where it was supposed to be. I went through my search process, more thoroughly than ever. I looked in pants pockets, on and under furniture, in desk dawers, in my car, and anywhere it could possibly be. I thought that since this cross was a symbol of my faith in God, that God would surely assure that I would find it. But after a day or two of searching I finally accepted that it was forever lost. Maybe I lost it outside somewhere when I was out shopping.

A few years before the loss of the cross, when Patty and I started publishing this blog, we decided the basic theme would be HOPE. One of the principles I began promoting was that if you hope for something, and it is something that is in accordance with God’s will, then God will be sure to fulfill that hope. If it is not in accordance with God’s will, then what you are hoping for might turn out to be just wishful thinking. It began to look to me like my hope of finding that lost cross was in fact just wishful thinking. That was the bad news.

Here’s the good news. Yesterday, after comng home from church, I changed my clothes. The clothes I took off were fairly new. Purchased within the last six to nine months. The clothes I put on were plain old wear around the house clothes, which I had been wearing most of the previous week. After I put on those old clothes again, I happened to look toward the floor, under my office chair. I noticed something on the floor. I bent over and picked it up. What was it? The old wooden cross, missing and presumed totally lost a year ago. How did it turn up a year later after all my searching? Where could it have come from, since the pockets of my old clothes had been emptied out night after night the previous week. And my new clothes didn’t exist when the cross was originally “lost”. Nevertheless, my hope of finding this cross was fulfilled.

Then I remembered my principle of hope, “ if you hope for something, and what you are hoping for is in accordance with God’s will, then God will be sure to fulfill that hope. I also remembered that there was a bit more to that principle, “… God will assure that your hope is fulfilled, in a God’s time and God’s way.” I have no idea why God waited a year to fulfill my hope of finding that cross. I have no idea why God fulfilled that hope while I was involved in the routine of changing clothes, rather than during my thorough search for the cross a year ago. Maybe God was telling me that my principle of hope was not my principle, but God’s principle. , “if you are hoping for something, and that hope is in accordance with God’s will, then God will assure that your hope is fulfilled, in God’s time and God’s way”. Maybe God was assuring me that you can always trust him to fulfill all of his principles, which can be discerned from the Bible.

Grace and peace,  Ray

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Thanks for your attention. We look forward to hearing your comments about our web-site. We also invite you to send us stories of your experiences and observations of present hopes and hope fulfilled, so we can spread them around the world via this web-site. This is one way we can all join together to help keep hope alive.

May God be with you,

Patty Perez and Ray Gough

Posted in Bible, Discernment, Faith, God, God's Promises, God's Will, Good News, Hope, Life Style, Spirituality, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Use the Power of God’s Grace to Do God’s Will

Thanks for visiting our web-site. We also invite you to view our newest web-site – Ray of Hope Ministries On-Line Bible Study. click here www.rohmbible.wordpress.com
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About 13 years ago some of the people of the church I served as pastor, including myself, committed to faithfully praying the prayer of Jabez (see I Chronicles 4:9-10). We believed that in this prayer we were asking God to give us more ministry to accomplish, as individuals and as the organized church we belonged to, and the power to carry out whatever ministries God gave us to do. it. I came to understand that the power we were praying for was God’s grace given to us through the Holy Spirit. Then it would be up to us  to use the power of God’s Grace to do God’s will.

Soon after we began praying that prayer I began to feel overwhelmed with my pastoral responsibilities. The need for emergency pastoral care was on the increase. I was heavily involved in planning new ministries. There was all the preparations for special services during Holy Week and Easter. Then I was reminded that as the new chairperson of a Conference committee, I had to prepare and present a report and recommendations for the annual meeting of our Annual Conference, which was coming up very soon. All this, plus the usual weekly responsibilites of every pastor.  I was becoming convinced that there was no way I was going to complete all the things that had to be done. It was one of those times when I was, if not angry, annoyed with God for putting all these things on me.

Then, when I was telling one of  our members how I was feeling about all this, she reminded me that we we (including me), had been praying the Prayer of Jabez, and that God answers prayers. She said I shouldn’t be surprised that God had answered my prayers for more ministry.

However, the feeling that I couldn’t do it all persisted. Until I realized that I had not been praying the entire prayer. I had been asking God to give me more ministry, but forgetting to ask for the power – the grace – to do all the ministry he gave to me. I had been trying to do it all myself, forgetting that I can’t do anything without God’s grace, through the Holy Spirit. I was reminded that with God’s grace I can do anything that God wants me to do.  So I began praying the full prayer, asking God to give me all the grace I needed to do his will. Of course, it was also implied, and made sense, that while God would give me the grace I needed, it would then be up to me to use it.

With that understanding, the result was that I accomplished everything God wanted me to do, according to his schedule – not mine. Also, there were a few things God pointed out to me that were things I wanted to do – but not what God wanted me to do. God’s message to me concerning those things was and still is “forget about them – at least for now. I’ll let you know later what, if anything,  to do about those things”. Ever since then I have almost always remembered to pray for all the grace I need to carry out God’s will for me. And when I have used that grace, I have been able to do whatever God has given me to do.

Maybe you are feeling overwhelmed. My suggestion, based on my experience, is prayer. Pray for discernment to discover God’s will for you. Then pray for and use the power of God’s grace to do God’s will.

Grace and peace,  Ray

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Thanks for your attention. We look forward to hearing your comments about our web-site. We also invite you to send us stories of your experiences and observations of present hopes and hope fulfilled, so we can spread them around the world via this web-site. This is one way we can all join together to help keep hope alive.

May God be with you,

Patty Perez and Ray Gough

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