Sunday, June 29, 2003

Weekly Word for June 29 - July 5, 2003

The kingdom of heaven is like a treasure hidden in the field, which a man found and hid; and from joy over it he goes and sells all that he has, and buys that field.” (Mathew 13: 44)

Ted woke up early this morning and told me about a dream he had. In the dream he saw a place that was like a mall. It was a large store and very open so that people could walk through it. In this particular store the owner had decided to change things. The place had sold a particular brand name of a product, but now the owner had decided to go with a “no-name” brand of products - not as good - and the cost was less! The owner had decided to change “everything” about the store! Ted (in the dream) knew that this was not good! He woke up wondering what was so wrong in this dream. I have to admit - at first I really wasn’t sure what to make of it all.

“For I know the plans that I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans for welfare and not for calamity - to give you a future and a hope.” (Jer. 29:11)

Quite a number of years ago, I was working in a ministry that seemed to be in the midst of change. There wasn’t a lot of money coming into the ministry, and we were all trying to figure out what we should do next. The decision was made to start a program that would offer people good teachings about nutrition, exercise, all sorts of good things to help people to become healthier. There were a number of people in the ministry who could teach these workshops, and everyone was very excited! Lesson plans were made, brochures were printed and mailed out, posters were put around the community - everything seemed to be in place for this new endeavor that the ministry was embarking on! Then during a meeting just before the seminars were to begin, we all began to pray. The presence of the Lord filled the room in such a way that to this day I can remember being in awe! We knew that God was there for a very important reason. And He was! His question to us: “who’s plan do you want?” “Yours, or mine?” We were stunned! So much had gone into the planning of the seminars! Should we stop and change course now? Could we? At the time we did! We wanted a ministry that was in “His” name - not our own! The cost? We had to give up our own plans in order to accept His plans for us! We had to give “our” will over to Him!

So then you are no longer strangers . . . but you are fellow citizens with the saints, and are of God’s household, (Ephesians 2:19)

There is a very famous saying that goes like this: “What is in a name?” When I was 18 years old I got married for the first time. At that time I took the name of my first husband. I was very glad to give up the name that I was born with. There were many hurts between my family growing up. Over the years though, the Lord has taken those hurts and replaced them with healing and love. Now (at 47) I can say that I have a healthy relationship with my family. But back at 18 - I did not! So it was with happiness that I took a new name. It meant that I was a different person - belonging to a different family.

And even though that marriage ended after quite a number of years of struggle and more hurts - I kept that name! It was the name my children had - and they belonged to me and I belonged to them! And then I met and fell in love with Ted. The day that the Lord brought us together as husband and wife - I was honored to take the name Ayers. It meant that Ted and I belonged together - as one! We were a family that God had put together. “What is in a name?” It tells us who we are - who we belong to!

Therefore you are no longer a slave, but a son; and if a son, then an heir through God. (Galatians 4:7)

Ted carries the name of both his father and his grandfather. In these two men - Ted learned what it meant to be a man. He watched each of them as he was growing and learned compassion, how to love, how to care for his family - from these men. I asked him once about his name - and what he thought about having the same name as them. He told me that it was an honor to have his name. And I knew it was true.

I then thought about Ted’s dream again. What each of us has to offer another - is what we have inside of us. As I have learned to trust the Lord - I want all that He has to offer me. And it is from that - the gifts the Lord has given me - that I minister to others. I only want to give them what is the “real thing” - as the advertisement says! The cost? The price is everything! All my plans I give up for His plans - His blessings!

“Truly, truly, I say to you, if you shall ask the Father for anything, He will give it to you in My name.” “Until now you have asked for nothing in My name; ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be made full.”

(John 16:23 & 24))

“What is in a name?” Everything! I come to you not in “my” name but in the name of Jesus Christ! Who’s name will you take as your own? My hope for you is that you will ask Him to come into your life and make you part of His family - an heir to all the good gifts He has for you. There is a cost! But it is worth everything!

God bless you in the coming week ahead.

In His Love,

Debbie and Ted Ayers


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