4 Relationships God Wants Us to Cultivate: Part Two

As I mentioned yesterday, relationships are hard. Tanya wrote about two relationships God wanted us to cultivate–our relationship with Him, and our relationship with our spouse–and how we can do that. But there are two more relationships we must nurture: our relationship with…well, read on to see what Tanya says.

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4 Relationships God Wants Us to Cultivate: Part Two 
By Tanya Eavenson

Yesterday, I wrote about cultivating our relationships with God and with our spouses here. Today, there are two more relationships God calls us to cultivate.

3) Cultivate your relationships within the church.

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One way you can cultivate relationships within the church is through regular attendance and getting plugged in.

  • There are many areas in your church that need helpers, like teaching a Sunday school class, helping out in the nursery, designing a church website, answering phones, or even being a part of the clean-up crew after events. You’ll never know the needs a church has until you ask.
  • Be active. Have you ever considered joining a women’s ministry? Do you participate in a Bible study? Attend conferences that encourage and refresh your soul? As Hebrews 10:24-25 says above, we gather together to encourage one another. So be active.
  • Pray for the staff and ministries. One of the most crucial and most powerful acts of love a church can offer is prayer for their church staff, ministries within the church, and those who serve in those ministries.
  • Reach out to others. Whether it’s a card, text, or phone call, reach out to others for their birthday, bereavement, thinking of you, or any occasion. It means a lot to know someone cares and is lifting you up in prayer.

4) Cultivate your relationships with those who don’t know Jesus Christ.

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Did you know that if you claim to be a Christian, you’re a testimony of God? It may or may not surprise you, but people are observing us. How we handle heartaches and difficulties, the way we love our spouses, how we talk, how we treat others, and even our joys, accomplishments, and blessings represent who God is. Not that we must worry about being perfect. We all make mistakes. The Lord knows we aren’t perfect, but while we strive to follow Him in this imperfect world, there are several things we can do to reach the lost.

  • Pray for God to give you opportunities to share the Gospel with someone as you go along your day. Ask Him to give you boldness to proclaim the joy of God’s word.
  • Give forgiveness. Forgiveness is what sets Christianity apart from other faiths. If someone has offended you, treat them kindly, with love, regardless of how they’ve mistreated you. We truly don’t know what others are going through. Perhaps what they need to hear is they aren’t alone and there is One who will be with them through it all.
  • Share your testimony of what God has done in your life. It doesn’t have to sound professional: just honest. Sometimes our testimonies can bless others and be an encouragement to those who now walk where we’ve walked.
  • Show love to the lost. The Bible also clearly states in James 2:15-16, “If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to them, ‘Go in peace, be warmed and filled,’ without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that?”

The Lord has called us to share who He is with the world, and this often requires tangible actions. He calls us to go and love others by feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, caring for widows and orphans, visiting those who are sick and those in prison. Find a need within your community, your neighborhood or in another country and fill that need. How? It’s up to you. Contact your local church to see what ministries they offer, but most importantly, tell people about Jesus. It could be something as simple as passing out a Bible to a co-worker or to a stranger at the mall that leads people to Jesus and eternal life.

I’ve listed several practical ways to grow your relationships with the Lord, your spouse, your church, and with the lost, but it takes action. Cultivating anything takes time, energy, and a desire for something to grow, including our relationships. So why not start today?

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Restored_1400x2100 (1)Dr. Steven Moore is known nationally for saving lives. If only he could save his own. Unable to deal with his cancer prognosis, he retreats to a happier time in his past—to the woman who once stole his heart.

Four years after the death of her beloved husband, bookstore owner Elizabeth Roberts still struggles to sustain her faith and joy in the Lord as she raises her two sons. She strives to find a way through her family’s grief, never suspecting a man from her past might offer hope for her future.

But how can there be a future when he’s only come to kiss her and says good-bye?

Buy Links:
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Tanya Eavenson enjoys spending time with her husband, and their three children. Her favorite pastime is grabbing a cup of coffee, eating chocolate, and reading a good book. Tanya is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers, Word Weavers International, and writes for Christ to the World Ministries. You can find her at her website http://www.tanyaeavenson.com/ on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, Google, or on Amazon.

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Where I’ve been: Please join me over on Stitches Thru Time with Crystal L. Barnes today!

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Let’s talk about this:
 Over the past two days, Tanya has shared  four relationships God wants us to cultivate. Yesterday’s were God and our spouses, and today’s were the church and those who don’t know Christ. How do you cultivate your relationship with the church? What about those in your community? What keeps you from tending these relationships? What motivates you to seek these relationships out? Share your thoughts in the comments below, because we can all learn from one another!

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Bits and Pieces

To my subscribers, I apologize for the double-posting the other day. One of those “pre-scheduling” issues. As an update, however, our penpal ministry has grown, which is exciting. You may remember when I talked about the jewelry the orphan girls from San Miguel, El Salvador made. I’m still waiting to hear back from a couple of organizations who I hope will partner with us as we seek ways to help these girls finds ways to be self-sustaining, but in the meantime, our church sold their jewelry to its members and sent the money to Remar San Miguel. Antonio, the orphanage “father” sent pictures via FB showing these girls in wonderful new school uniforms purchased with the jewelry proceeds. It’s amazing how far money goes down in El Salvador! We’re gearing up to go again in January. This time one of our team members wondered if we might want to teach the girls to crochet knapsacks. So, we’re thinking about it. Of course, we team members need to learn how to crochet first. What’s that they say about the blind leading the blind? Oy! But where there’s a will, there’s a way, right?

In the meantime, I’m on chapter seven of a new novel centered around El Salvador. The research is intense, on a heart level. But even as much of it breaks my heart, I’m also very encouraged because I believe long-term positive change is possible. As I mentioned before, I’m not trying to change the world, but I would like to drastically change life for someone. As the saying goes, each one reach one, right? On Friday our family’s meeting with a group from our church’s orphan ministry to discuss ways in which we can do just that.

I’d also like to invite you to join me at Laura Kurk’s blog where I share a short story very near and dear to my heart. About ten years back, while having a very rough day (uh, rough month, perhaps?), a friend called out of the blue.  Another friend sent me a card with Scripture that spoke specifically to what I was dealing with. As I thought about God’s tender mercies and how He often loves us through others, I wondered…what if the friend who called decided not to call that night? What if my other friend never tucked the card in the mail?

Now, I believe God’s Sovereign and would’ve reached out to me in some other way, but I still consider the question whenever I feel God nudging me to make a phone call, write a letter, send an email, or make a visit. What if the person God is sending me to is crying out to Him right at that moment? This story, posted on Laura Kurk’s blog, asks that very question.

Before I go, I’d like you to join me and five other ladies for a modern-day, “meet at the well” experience on Facebook. At Living by Grace, each day we’ll post devotions that will be used to launch into discussions. Our vision is that this Facebook community would become a faith-focused, “Cheers” experience. You remember the theme song? “Where everybody knows your name, and they’re always glad you came….”

I want to thank Eileen Rife, Gail Pallotta, Phyllis Wheeler, Salena Storm, and Yvonne Blake for helping us spread the word!

On Thursday, I’ll share more about this new faith-Facebook community. I hope you’ll join us!