If we truly develop stewardship attitudes toward our possessions, and if we then become servants one of another, we must expect the quality of our life together as Christians to be enhanced.
The women in one church asked: Can we as stewards really justify the time and money we spend in the pursuit of fashion? They established a clothing co-op where excess, usable garments could be exchanged, and where children’s clothes could be traded. Then they had enough of a sense of togetherness not to be embarrassed at wearing each other’s hand-me-downs on Sunday morning.
If my time doesn’t belong to me but to my Master for use in His Kingdom, this is bound to have a bearing on the way I utilize my fleeting moments of earthly tenure. Learning that He orders my days was a valuable lesson. I try to seek His will for this day in my life.
For many years my job had been to minister to the body of Circle Church. That along with the serving of my husband and family was, as far as I understood it, my priority. Sometimes the combination of both, of keeping each in alignment, created tensions. Someone weeping in the living room (or as one of my neighbors expressed it, “Just one of the people the Mainses are always having over”) demanded my attention as much as the little boys feuding in the back yard.
Despite the pastoral responsibilities, the physical functions of life go on. Laundry must be stuffed into machines, toys jammed away into drawers and shelves, meals economically planned and prepared, dishes scrubbed, rooms straightened. Sometimes these material basics can be in hot competition with the needs of church and family. I came to learn to cry out to the Lord, “You see what needs to be done in this house. You Order my days.”
Invariably, when I pray this prayer, then cast myself into the day with this attitude, He does order the day. I may be in the middle of what seems to be an important project—paint cloths spread and brushes dripping for the color accent on the living room wall—the phone interrupts and the paint dries forlornly on the applicator.
“Who is in control of my time?” I ask. And, the answer arises deep within me: He orders my days. If that project is important He will provide the way to finish it. How many times can I testify to His giving me a welcoming and listening ear for callers, giving me patience as well as delight in my children, making me an eager companion for my husband. He orders the days and clears the frustrations. He brings someone to offer aid, or to speak a word of encouragement.
For decades, Karen Mains and her husband, David, have served God through religious communications—radio, television, and print publication. The are the co-authors of the Kingdom Tales Trilogy: Tales of the Kingdom, Tales of the Resistance, and Tales of the Restoration. To find many valuable resources for pastors and churches at the Mainstay Ministries main website, please click here.
Karen has long had an interest in Christian hospitality and is the author of the best-selling book, Open Heart, Open Home.
An award-winning author of several other books, Karen continues to write content for her Christian blog, “Thoughts-by-Karen-Mains.” In so doing, she desires to touch the lives of Christian women and men and help them find ways to walk closer with the Lord Jesus Christ. In addition, through silent retreats, spiritual teaching, women’s retreats, Christian vacation opportunities, and other ministry activities, Karen helps each Christian woman and man receive vital spiritual food.
Through her Hungry Souls ministry, Karen serves as a spiritual coach to many Christian women and men, and teaches a mentor-writing class. And, through the Global Bag Project, she is working to develop a network of African women who sew exquisite cloth reusable shopping bags. This micro-finance women opportunity helps provide a much-needed sustainable income for struggling African families. For more information on this critically important project, please click here.
In addition, pastors will find special resources to help them create effective, life-transforming Sunday sermons by visiting David Mains’ website by clicking here.