Friday, January 21, 2011

Enduring Influence

Hi Ladies,

I remember reading this article and wanted to share it with you. It's from our National Women's Ministries website. Kerry Clarensau is our new National Women's Ministries Director. Remember to pray for her as she leads our fellowship in this new season.

Today I met a precious young woman that was very much pregnant. She was sharing how she had been expecting twins, but because of a horrible auto accident at 20 weeks due to a drunken driver she lost one of them. My heart went out to her and I felt led to tell her that I would pray for her and have our church pray as well. She'll be giving birth in just a few weeks and has complications that I could relate to from my first pregnancy. I tried to encourage and give her hope. Today was a divine appointment for us to meet. He really does direct our steps.

You never know how God wants to use you in your place of influence. I pray this will speak to your heart as well.

Love & Hugs,

Enduring Influence

Kerry Clarensau

I want to challenge you to think of the people who have made an impact on your life. All of us are influenced by the people we encounter. Some play a significant role in our lives for decades, but others we encounter for a very brief time and yet they leave a lasting impression.

Recently I was flying home from a long weekend trip. Honestly, I was hoping to catch up on my sleep. But when I boarded the plane, the man sitting next to me asked if I would trade my seat with his wife so they could sit next to one another. When I got to my new seat, a young woman was sitting there next to the window. Even before we pulled away from the gate she started a conversation and over the next 2 ½ hours, she told me about her struggling marriage and asked me question after question. By the time we landed, she recounted the things from our conversation that were an encouragement to her. Through tears, she told me God seated us together and thanked me for talking with her. It was fun to tell her how my original seat was several rows behind her. God truly made a way for a brief moment in time together.

When I look closely at the life of Christ, I see Him investing in individuals with brief impact moments—like His conversation with the woman at the well, or eating dinner with sinners at Matthew’s house. But I also see Him investing significant amounts of time in the twelve. Walking and talking with them every day. Teaching and guiding them.

Have you ever considered how the gospel was shared from those individuals who walked with Christ through the centuries to you and me? Individuals had to intentionally invest in others—sharing life-changing truth. I’m so thankful for those who decades ago shared the good news with my grandparents, allowing my parents to be raised in Christian homes.

I believe God strategically places people in our journey to reveal His love, wisdom, and help. When I was a young adult, Peggy Musgrove—a godly woman—saw leadership abilities in me. Abilities I never knew existed. She challenged me with opportunities that stretched and developed my skills. Peggy was such a beautiful example of a woman in leadership, I’ve actually found myself asking, “What would Peggy do?”

Peggy told me she asked the Lord for 12 women to influence. Following the pattern of Jesus, she wanted to intentionally invest in 12 women. I know I wouldn’t be the person I am today without her loving influence. While Peggy’s time in formal leadership has come to a close, her influence lives on in so many.

I am challenged by Peggy to think about the 12 women I can invest significant time with—just living life and sharing His truth in conversation and example. I want my life to be one of influence. I believe God directs our paths to intersect with others—some for a season, but others for a lifetime. For instance, my daughter-in-law, Katie, and my granddaughter, Molly—I want to invest in their lives as long as I live.

Will you make the same choices Peggy made and intentionally invest in 12? Will you look for moments each day to intentionally invest in someone? Even though our time on this earth is so brief, our influence can live on for generations.

KERRY CLARENSAU is director of the National Women's Department.

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