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Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Before I Begin ... I need your help

I have much to empty off of my heart, but I am going to start w/ a question for you ...  What does CALLED mean to you ???  I feel like this word is either being used to much or in the wrong way ... And before I begin emptying what God has been revealing to me from my trip, my life, my journey w/ my precious children, my husband, w/ 147 and all of life's moments I need to know we are all on the same page or at least can come to an agreement on a few things ...

For me a CALLING feels like I can hear and understand what God is saying to me from scripture that is already written  ... IT IS NOT NEW except to me IN THE FACT THAT I AM WILLING TO OBEY IT  ... IT IS GOD'S WORD and as the body of Christ we were all meant to understand it and attempt to live it out here on earth ...


29 kind words.:

Anonymous said...

I agree that a "calling" feels like a great understanding of what God wants you to do. I also believe that when you accept God's call, an unbelievable peace fills your heart. The process of accepting God's call can be a hard process. At times, I struggle between knowing if what is on my heart is in fact God's call or just my heart's desire. The process keeps you humble and in prayer! I am praying for you!

Cindy said...

Looking forward to hearing more about your trip. I feel led to be the best person I can be.To help my children be thoughtful, compassionate and decent human beings. I know you will have much better answers but that is mine : )

Blessed Bentons said...

It is my understanding of scripture that we are ALL called to this: "Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ Matthew 22:37-39

That is our calling. I do believe that God has given each of us certain gifts in the spirit that are to be used for His glory. There is a strong line of frustration for me in between saying you've been called to care for orphans and widows and adopting. Not every person is asked to adopt...but we are ALL called to care for them in some capacity.

I have a calling on my life to live for Him alone and I believe that is the calling for each and everyone of us--

I look at the word calling...more like an invitation. We are invited to relationship and with that relationship comes the DESIRE to do as He calls.

We are asked to simply answer the call with obedience.

Sorry for the lengthy response. :)


Jill said...

Loving the least of these. Here is the short list: the stinky person in the checkout line, mentally disable person on the street, orphan with no one, the foreigner that looks different than everyone in my home town, the person with tattered hand me downs, the lonely widow, anyone the world would ignore, I should serve.

Kayla said...

For me being "called" means to feel that God has been specifically leading me in a certain direction through scripture, and sometimes through other influences or people in my life that lead me to scriptures that make clear the path I need to take. After lots of praying over the words I have been led too I usually feel a sense of peace and that's how I would describe a "calling".

Ps. I love your blog and follow your posts often! :)

Nichols said...

I think your definition is right on. The only calling I want to follow is in the Word of God which is living and active. Look forward to hearing what you will share. ~Christine

Jenn Nahrstadt said...

i agree that this is a calling, being obedient to what Scripture has to say on all subjects.

i also grew up with calling meaning a specific circumstance or situation or life's work that a person is directed clearly by God to follow, i.e. the ministry, foreign missions service, etc.

interested to hear what God has been saying to you.

Melissa, Multi-Tasking Mama said...

I absolutely love your definition. We are ALL called to do certain things as followers of Christ (Matthew 28:19 and James 1:27) just to name a few. I think that where we fit in "ministry", which is different than calling {at least to me} is affected by many things including our upbringing, environment, personality and more. I look forward to hearing what you have to say!!

Mandy said...

I was just journalling about this very thing, perhaps it'll make it to my blog eventually... I think 'calling' is a word that is overused in a million different ways. In my understanding, calling is universal to Jesus-followers~ the Great Commission (GO), the Great Commandment (LOVE God, LOVE others). These are things that we are all called to do. I think where it gets misused is as an excuse ('God didn't call me to that') and when someone is looking for specific direction in their life. God's calling to each of us is the same, how he chooses to lead us to fulfill those things in our individual lives can be so totally different. Excited to hear what you have been learning about calling!!

Carrie said...

I think you're definition is right on!
I'm embarrassed to say that when my husband and I were "called" to adopt, I didn't know specifically what God's word said about orphans and our responsibility to care for them. But our hearts were stirred and we felt that God was up to something in our lives. So we took what we felt and held it up to God's word. Scripture provided clear confirmation. It was then that we knew these weren't just feelings, but rather a "call".
That's just my thought/experience. I can't wait to see what you have to share.

dgporter said...

Gwen, you worded it just right for my understanding of 'called' too, in this context (my Living Trans. of 1 Peter4:10,11 uses 'called'). I thought several comments were accurate as well. For example, I believe God called me to teach. I have been honored to work with young children in schools for the last 20 years. Others may teach, but in different capacities. Still others may be called to different ministries, according to their gifts(I'm thinking of us, like puzzle pieces, fitting together into the complete picture). It was 8 years ago I accepted God's call to adopt, and this call hit me like lightning! I had never considered adopting scripture says 'we must care for orphans and widows in their troubles and refuse to let the world corrupt us'. There is more than one way to care for them, however. As I continue to search and study His Word, I see that my take on many scriptures is so shallow, incomplete, or just plain wrong! I am currently studying the Fruit of the Spirit and it's amazing how much I didn't realize or understand about it. I'm still learning... Gwen, your ministry touches my heart. Thank you for sharing your heart with us.

Sandi said...

I cannot wait to hear the rest! I agree with you about "calling" only having one thing to add: In Jeremiah, when the pursecution was so bad, Jeremiah pressed on because he couldn't possibly stop. (Jeremiah 20:9 But if I say, "I will not mention him or speak any more in his name, his word is in my heart like a fire, a fire shut up in my bones. I am weary of holding it in; indeed, I cannot.") I believe this is the example of being called. When God has revealed what He wants from you and there is no way to ignore it without it burning inside of you. I feel this way about adoption. I believe I am called...specifically to that purpose. I believe that a calling is absolutely initiated with scripture as God intended (not out of context.) Whew...that was my 2 cents. :)

Nicole said...

I think that being "called " means that you "hear" his divine plan for you. It is not always hearing him speak to you with words but having enough faith to follow his calling with limited sight. To choose the path that might not be the most popular or most traveled but to hear his calling and follow his divine plan that he has mapped out for your earthly life.

Erica said...

I typicaly think of a calling as a specific direction beyond the basics of following what God has already laid out in His word. Such as not just caring for orphans and widows in their distress but caring for orphans and widows in their distress in ____________ (location). Can't wait to hear what is on your heart!

amy said...

love that you make your bloggie friends think and not just absorb all the truths God lays on your heart to share :)

a calling from the Lord will never contradict his word...his truth.

we are all called to love.

many times I believe God calls us to act and yet we miss out on the opportunity due to our comfort, fear,and the business of life that drowns out HIS voice.

doors of great opportunity swing open on the hinges of obedience.

oh that I would be still before the Lord to listen and respond with obedience to HIS calling on my life.

look forward to hearing what God is writing on your heart.

Nancy said...

I believe the confusion is between commanded and called! We are all 'commanded' to look after the widow and the orphan (and many other things, too.) We are commanded to be salt and light in the world. For some, they might be 'called', therefore, to be a pastor or overseas missionary and others are not. They have to still obey the commandment, but it will look different. So, yes, I think some might be called to do specific things which may appear a more radical way of obeying a certain commandment. We're not all called to all things, but we are commanded to obey all what the Lord has instructed us.

David and Marianne said...


the_blissful_mommy said...

I think this is just too odd, Gwen. All my own thoughts lately have been about God's calling. Really asking HIm to reveal what the difference between "calling" and "reference" is in my life. I have ideas about what my preferneces are for living my life for Him, good and adventerous and new ideas thatI believe od has now carved fresh into Andrew's and my hearts but I am trying to decipher if they are God's CALLing in my life. Here's what I KNOW to be true, much like what you have said: there is indeed MUCH that the Lord has called me to do. There's no confusion. His Word gives clear indication (to be holy, to be bring glory to Christ, to be free, etc) and if I am busy about these things I think MAYBE God just moves the earth under me to cause me to do His will. Does that make a lick o sense at ALL? I like what someone else said up there: "she held up her thoghts and preferneces to the light of the Word and looked at what the Word reflected back" or something like that. If I am content following what He certainly HAS spelled out what IS my calling, by being in His Word constantly and keeping my hands open to Him...His calling in my life is already being fulfilled. He fulfills His own purposes already. I just participate. I just get the fun of participation if I am obeying.

And I am more convinced that we don't FEEL a calling. We hear it. We read it. It's black and white, not subjective.

Andrea Young gave me a Francis Chan quot I have been thinking about alot lately, too: he said that what people say they "don't FEEL called to move to Africa" (which is what God is digging deeply into mine and Andrew's heart, consequently) he asks if they FEEL called to go to Target. No? They just see a need and fill it? Hmmm. " His thoughts being, I guess that our availablity to God's moving is answering His voice.

Still processing alot over here, clearly. ;)

Can't wait to hear whatever. Love you

Anonymous said...

We were created to glorify God. Our purpose is to make that glory known to all. As Christ followers, we are not just called but commanded to be the hands and feet of Jesus. We all have different gifts, tallents, and strengths. We all have a calling on our lives. The same plan. God chooses to lead us in various ways.

Sophie said...

I think it's how we respond to God's Word. I believe we are all "called" to be obedient. I don't believe that only certain Christians are to step up to the plate and care for the needs of others while some believe that the job is not meant for them.

I believe being "called" is making yourself available to be used by God, and of course we are all blessed with different talents and spiritual gifts.

Carrie said...

That's a hard one...I think "called" is sometimes used to loosely because people tend to say, well that is your calling and it's not for me or things like that. I think the Bible clearly states what we are to do, as far as the least of these are concerned, making diciples, and the commmandments, etc. How God plans to use us individually for his commands are different for everyone; if that makes sense!
Can't wait to hear your heart!

Shelley said...

Something that God is entrusting you to do, with His guidance and His provision. I have never known such a thing until I felt God calling me to do something, I didn't know what at the time, but I knew there was something to be done. The pieces fell into place, and we were able to help people in Haiti with a shoe drive. I have never felt this before, it was such a wonderful and confusing feeling, of what do I do and How do I do it? God always knows, He won't send you out without providing. Sorry for being lengthy.

Stacey said...

I haven't had a chance to read through all the responses but that's probably better. This is a "brace yourself" response.

In "religious" mindsets, a calling is something grand...a platform...a higher up. Something we have to climb the ladder of servanthood for. Many perceive that the "calling" is to a pulpit or a public and for some, it is.

Ignorantly, I found myself striving for position for a long time. And it's been within the last couple of years, that God has so radically taken hold of my heart that I understand that the true calling is an altar. A place of humility and sacrifice. Not servitude to attain to something greater but servitude because we are serving what is greater. God's plans. God's purposes. God's people.

It comes from a place of love. If you love me, feed my sheep.

I wasn't going to respond to this, simply because I have a major internal struggle. Jesus has been overturning the tables of the moneychanger mindset in me...that says I will profit from what I do. But I am not a house of merchandise. I am a house of prayer and it's for ALL PEOPLE!

Someone gave me a beautiful analogy of servanthood once. They said that they saw me on high and that I was fast moving waters and I was meant to flow to the lowest point, where Jesus himself would go. Just as the waters cannot control where they flow to...neither can we. He did what Father did. He was about His business. I truly believe that's how the calling works.

Anonymous said...

We are "invited" (called) into a realtionship with God through the blood of Jesus. God has gifted each of us with unique gifts to be used to glorify His name by loving and serving others.

Amy said...

I believe we are called to obey God's commandments and we also have individual callings that are specific to our gifts from the Lord. For example, I feel called to work with children because God has given me a special grace and gift for ministering to young people. My husband and I know with all our hearts that we are called to adopt an orphan from Africa. My prayer is that every Christian would feel called to adopt an orphan. I trust that Jesus will move on the hearts of His people to take care of the hurting children of the world.

One thing I know for sure is that we are all called to live in the marvelous light of Christ!

1 Peter 2:9

However, you are chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, people who belong to God. You were chosen to tell about the excellent qualities of God, who CALLED you out of darkness into his marvelous light.

Tammy said...

It means EXACTLY what you said!!! Guess what? Not sure if you read it on my FB or not but we are starting our Ethiopia adoption FINALLY...Couldn't wait to tell you sister:) Follow us and pray at !!!

Deb said...

Okay so I'm going to respond before I read everyone else's responses and decide they are more right. haha.
I think that God has set out a number of principles in the Bible about which we believers need to be passionate if we are growing in faith in Christ. Like caring for the least of these. And sharing God's love and responding to the Great Commission. But, in my view, a calling is a bit different. It is a specific Word that God gives specific people. Like someone who is called to be a pastor. We aren't all called to be a pastor, although we all are commanded to share the gospel. Does that make any sense?
Despite my thoughts on this, I think God could call any/all of us to do any/everything. :)

Shawn Heeney said...

Thank you for asking such a question. It is a place where God has me, but you have put me in a place to really search out the answer. I am still working through it. But to add... in Isaiah, he heard the voice of the Lord saying, "who shall I send? And who will go for us?" The call was not just for Isaiah...Isaiah was just at a place where he was able to hear it.

As Gods children, we were chosen out of the darkness into the light (salvation), not as a one time prayer that removes us from hell into heaven, but into a place to build the relationship that was broken at the fall. The relationship with our Lord. When we humble our selfs, seek the face of God and build on this relationship. Which can be done only by the grace and love of our Lord (nothing on my own). In that relationship, we are at a place to hear the call, and can lift up our hand and say " Here I am send me!"

So I have been asking myself...what does that look like to me on the other side of the cross? well... The Lord wants us to be sharing the gospel (1 corinthians 9:16, matthew 28:19, john 20:21)! Each one of our lives is for a purpose, not by accident. So where are lives are, and whosoever stands in front of us...we SHARE the gospel. We LIVE out the gospel.

In the relationship is where we can hear and understand scripture thru the Holy Spirit. And in the relationship we have a trust, built up by our trials and sufferings, so we can obey the written Word of God. Which I think is what you said...right?!...hahahaaha

***on the side note*** God has brought me to your blog a couple of days ago, and your story (and those you are in ministry work) has so encouraged and moved my heart, and opened my eyes. Praise the Lord!! Praying for you, maggie, family and ministry!!

Faith, Hope, and Love said...

To me "calling" means to hear God's voice as He leads us down the road of His will for us. It comes from deep within the heart...something that sometimes is easy and others times is not. And regardless of what other people may is faith that secures this path to where He he has called us to be.