How I Came To Know God Was Calling Me to Ministry

Looking back, I can really see how God was influencing me from a very young age to pursue ministry. However, I didn’t know what that meant at the time or what it would look like. I was that eight year old that would set up her American Girl dolls and would preach sermons to them and would hold Bible studies for them and my stuffed animals. I’d like to clarify and say that I think everyone is called to ministry in some way and that your life is in fact a ministry. When I am talking about ministry in this post, I am referring to a pastoral ministry.

The day I turned thirteen years old I went to my mom sobbing. My reason? I didn’t want to be a teenager. I laugh about it now, but I was so scared of being a teenager because growing up, the only way I heard adults talk about teenagers was negative. “Teens are disrespectful.” “They are selfish and don’t care about anyone else.” “Teenagers don’t take God seriously.” “They are rebellious and lazy.” This is what I had heard about teenagers and it was NOT what I wanted to become. A few months later, I attended a talk about being strong for the Lord in your youth and teen years. I realized it is possible for me to have a strong relationship with God and to pursue holiness as a teenager. I wanted to share that message to teenagers and to help them understand God and grow in Him. However, I had never even seen a female youth pastor at that time so the thought that I could be one never even crossed my mind.

Not too long after that I began dealing with chronic pain and depression. You can find a more detailed story HERE. It was during that time I had several youth pastors on our church district come up and say encouraging things to me and pray with me. Keep in mind, they had no idea what I was going through, yet they helped me get through one of the hardest times of my life. I had also begun to see female youth pastors and even female senior pastors and the thought that I could be a pastor started to become a reality. After I had surgeries and began to reflect more on what God had done in my life, all these things seemed to connect and make sense. I heard God saying what He had been saying for a long time, that I was to be a pastor. My specific calling is to be a youth pastor and be in youth ministry. I believe youth ministry is vitally important and will probably make a separate post on why soon.

Since I accepted my call, I have been preparing in several different ways for my future. I have been studying and learning. I have been talking to my pastors at church and have even led youth group and will be leading Bible studies for the adult group soon. I will be attending SNU this next fall and will be majoring in Theology/Pastoral Ministry.. I know it won’t be an easy road, but I am super excited about the future and all that God is going to do. If you think God might be calling you into some form of ministry, my advice is: to pray a lot, talk to your pastor or a trusted mentor, and listen for God and what He is trying to tell you.

“But my life is worth nothing to me unless I use it for finishing the work assigned me by the Lord Jesus—the work of telling others the Good News about the wonderful grace of God.” {Acts 20:24}

The Lie Christians Should Stop Saying

Unfortunately there are many things we, as Christians, say that aren’t true. “God won’t give you more than you can handle.” Is one of the biggest lies I’ve ever heard told in church and Christian communities. It is not a statement ever found in the Bible or backed up by biblical truth. I think we say this as a way of lying to ourselves because we are afraid of trials and tribulation. Which WILL happen. That is in fact biblical and told to us many times. In fact, I personally believe that God will and does give us more than we can handle. Not because He hates us or is punishing us, but because it forces us to depend on and trust in God during these situations. It refocuses our mind back onto our Almighty God and makes us realize we CAN’T do things alone. We need God. When we go through these trials that are more than we can handle, God is going to be there with us the entire way if we seek Him and ask for help.

“My salvation and my honor depend on God; He is my mighty rock, my refuge.” {Psalm 62:7}

Letter to Christians about Prayer

Dear Christians,

We so easily say one thing and do another. This is hypocritical and wrong. One of the main ways we do this to each other is by saying the phrase, “I’ll pray for you.” Now, I understand many people do follow through with that, but a drastic amount of people don’t. If someone is going through a hard time or they ask you to pray for them, PRAY FOR THEM! Don’t just use empty words, use the power of Jesus Christ in prayer. One of the best ways to implement this in your life is when someone asks you to pray for them, stop and pray for them right then and there. Yes, it might be uncomfortable if you aren’t used to that situation but it will be worth it & they will feel loved. Christians, the power of prayer is beyond our comprehension, DON’T take it for granted. If you aren’t going to actually pray for someone, then don’t bother wasting your breath to tell them that you are. Be sincere and actually pray if you tell them you will. This is something that’s been bothering me so much recently and something I used to do a lot. I think it’s important that we, as followers of Christ, actually follow Christ’s example and pray for people. 

-Madison Mullins 

Contentment in Christ

“To love God is to love His will. It is to be content with His timing and wise appointment.” -Elisabeth Elliot

Contentment in Christ begins with one thing: LOVE. When we have a love for God, it makes it so much easier to be content in Him. 

Contentment in Timing/Waiting:

This is the kind of contentment that can be the hardest (especially for teenagers and young adults). When we are waiting for something in life, it’s hard! Patience isn’t something we always have, however, in times of waiting it’s key, and is commanded:

“But if we look forward to something we don’t yet have, we must wait patiently and confidently.)”‭‭ Romans‬ ‭8:25‬ ‭
“Wait patiently for the Lord. Be brave and courageous. Yes, wait patiently for the Lord.”‭‭  Psalms‬ ‭27:14‬ ‭
There’s nothing wrong be looking forward to something or the next phase of your life, but don’t let it consume you and make you discontent. Some things to remember in times of waiting or waiting on God’s (perfect) timing:

 1. God is in control!

 2. He has a plan!

 3. Rushing God’s plan/timing doesn’t help anything.

 4. There’s a purpose in waiting.
Check out this quote from C.S. Lewis:


Being content with God’s timing isn’t always easy, but be encouraged by this verse: 

“But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.” ‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭40:31‬ 

Contentment When God Says, “No”

God always answers our prayers…however He doesn’t always answer the way we want Him to. There are times in life when God will say no to us. But we shouldn’t be discouraged or discontent because God’s “no” is not a rejection, it’s a redirection! We don’t usually understand why God says no to us however, “When God gives you a ‘No’, give Him a ‘thank you’. He was protecting you from less than His best.” That is a hard, but true statement. We have to realize that we are human, we don’t have the knowledge and wisdom God has. We must accept and be content with the fact that God knows more than us. 

Contentment During Trials:

This is the most difficult kind of contentment for me personally. When I’m going through stuff, I want to be content with God, but it’s hard. I get mad, but in the end I still want to please and honor God with my life. According to Bethany Baird, “A desire to please God says, ‘God, I will choose to serve you and praise you whether or not my circumstances ever change.'” That is a really really difficult thing to say and mean. What if your tough situation never changes? Could you truly be content with that? This is where prayer and a desire for the Lord is important. Philippians 4:11 says, “I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.”

‭Paul is not saying that you have to LIKE the situation you are in. What he is saying is that we should be content with where God has put us and serve Him to the best of our ability in that situation.
Contentment is a daily struggle, one which can’t be done without a relationship with God. I encourage you to get into the word of God and find stories and verses that help you during times of discontentment. 
“But godliness with contentment is great gain.”

‭‭1 Timothy‬ ‭6:6‬ ‭

WORSHIP🙏💛

“For God is Spirit, so those who worship him must worship in spirit and in truth.”‭‭John‬ ‭4:24

We hear the word “worship” a lot. And as Christians, we are expected to do it. But what is it? What is worship? Most people tend to think of music and singing when the word worship is mentioned. Music and singing are great, but that’s not all there is to worship.
I love the way Mike Bickle says that worship is a lifestyle. If I had to put worship in a quote I would say,

“Worship is the way you live your life with the intent to honor God.”

Check out this song about worship. It truly hits home and has an amazing message: “Clear the Stage” by Jimmy Needham

Worship takes sacrifice! In 2 Samuel 24:10-25, David was building an altar to God. David was the KING! He didn’t have to go and buy the threshing boards for the altar, but he chose to because David REFUSED to sacrifice unless it COST him something! We should have the mindset of David.

Jesus replied, “The Scriptures say, ‘You must worship the LORD your God and serve only him.’” {Luke‬ ‭4:8‬}  Notice this verse links WORSHIP and SERVICE together. A big part of worship is to be serving others to serve Christ.

Finally, I would like to share some practical tips and advice for worship:

-Don’t absentmindedly worship. Have intent and do it WHOLEHEARTEDLY.

-When worshiping through music and singing, pay attention to the words you sing. Listen to understand.

LOOK for ways to be apart of worship. Be active in seeking God.

PRAY!!! Pray for understanding, thank God, and Pray and ask for the right mindset to worship.
-Madison🌻

Prayer☀️

So what’s the big deal about prayer? If you have grown up in church or know Christians, you hear about prayer a LOT. People do it in church, before they eat, when they are hurting, with other people…and if you don’t understand it, it can seem quite weird. Why is prayer so important?  

1) It builds and strengthens your relationship with God. It’s impossible to have a successful relationship without communication. The same is with God. Prayer connects you to God.

 2) You are speaking to the CREATOR OF THE ENTIRE UNIVERSE! You have that ability!!! It’s an amazing privilege to be able to talk to God. Don’t lose your awe and reverence to God. 

 3) God wants you to! God desires a relationship with you and wants that connection. 

 4) It gives us the opportunity to express ourselves, needs, and concerns to God.

 5) It gives us the opportunity to praise, honor, and worship God.

6) Prayer changes the world!

7) Even JESUS prayed!

Prayer is more than saying a few words before meals. I challenge you to pray, and to truly pray! You don’t have to use complex vocabulary or have hour long prayers. It’s about a connection with God 


Prayer isn’t just words. It is a lifestyle. I challenge you to live a life of prayer💛 -Madison

Be Still

Hey Everyone! Sorry it’s been a while since my last post. I have been finishing up school and things have been crazy. Since things have been so hectic in my life recently I had to really be intentional with my time and being intentional about spending time reading the Bible and with God. The Bible uses the phrase “Be Still” many times throughout scripture. Here are a few verses:

Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!” -Psalms‬ ‭46:10‬ ‭

Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him; fret not yourself over the one who prospers in his way, over the man who carries out evil devices!”‭‭ -Psalms‬ ‭37:7‬ ‭

The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.” -Exodus‬ ‭14:14‬ 

Many people think the phrase “Be Still” means to just sit back and not do anything and let God do it all. That’s not necessarily true. The phrase “Be Still” is a reminder to take time to just be in God’s presence and worship Him. In Psalm 46:10 mentioned above, it says “Be still, and know that I am God.” So often (especially if you’ve grown up in church) we lose our wonder and awe of God. It’s a normal thing that we have accepted since infants. But we shouldn’t just be going through the motions of Christianity. I challenge you to really take time and BE STILL. Think about how marvelous, amazing, and awe inspiring the Lord is. He created the universe! He created you! He saved the world through Jesus! Don’t let the craziness of your life distract you from residing in Christ and being in awe of His wonder. Be still, and KNOW that He is God

Baptism 101

Baptism can be a very controversial topic among Christians. What is it? What is it not? What method to use? All these questions are valid and important questions. I remember being younger and the sacrament of baptism was confusing to me. My [amazing] children’s pastor at my church did a whole lesson on baptism when I was about seven years old and that was when I began to get a better understanding of the topic. I was baptized on my eighth birthday and it is one of my favorite memories. This is a brief, “to the point” post that can hopefully help you better understand baptism.

First, we need to discuss what baptism isn’t. Many people think that baptism is necessary to be saved and to get into heaven. IT IS NOT! Ephesians 2:8-9 says, “For it is by grace you have been saved through faith–and this is not of yourselves, it is the gift of God–not by works, so that no one can boast.” This verse clearly states that FAITH ALONE saves you. There is NOTHING we can do to earn the grace of God.

So we know that baptism is not necessary for salvation, but what is it?

Baptism is an outward testimony of of an inward change.

When you are baptized, you are proclaiming to the world and to the church that you are a follower of Jesus Christ. It is a testimony. Baptism is an expression of your faith in Jesus. Baptism isn’t just something you do for fun. Only be baptized if you have truly confessed your sins to God and desire a relationship with Him. Because although baptism doesn’t save you or get you into heaven, it is a covenant you are making with God. Its a testimony that you are choosing to follow and serve God, and that is not something to take lightly.

What method to use? This probably causes the most controversy in the evangelical church than any of these other points I have mentioned in this post. There are three main methods of baptism:

  • Immersion
  • Sprinkling
  • Pouring

Some people believe that there is one way to be baptized and that its the only way to do it. However, I challenge you to think of it this way, “If baptism doesn’t save you, why does it matter what method you use?” Seriously. Think about it! My opinion on it is, use whatever method you want or you feel the most comfortable with. I’m not trying to offend anyone who has different opinions on this matter. That is totally okay if you have different views than me, however I want everyone to pray about it and think about if it truly matters and is worth arguing and having conflicts with people over.

Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” Matthew 28:19

I hope you enjoyed this post and found it helpful. I hope you stop by again to read future blog posts! -Maddie

Modern Day Idolatry 

If you’ve grown up in the church or have been a Christian for a while, you have certainly heard the verse (its one of the 10 Commandments), Exodus 20:4, “You must not make for yourself an idol of any kind of an image of anything in the heavens or on the earth or in the sea.”  Idolatry was a huge issue in the Old Testament, you can basically pick any story and it will have some form of idolatry mentioned in it. 

Idols are still just as big of an issue in today’s society as it was thousands of years ago. 

Now, most of us don’t deal with idols of false gods and goddesses and having statues of them that we pray to, but we definitely still have idols. Some idols we have today are: 

•money

•fame

•sex

•boyfriends/girlfriends

•outward beauty/praise

•OURSELVES

•religion

•marriage/family

You might be confused at the last two points. However people can put so much focus on the tradition or the proper way to do things in religion that their focus is no longer on Christ. That’s what idolatry really is! Taking our focus off of God & putting it somewhere else. 

Now for marriage and family. So many people (especially women) place their value and focus their entire life for the purpose of being married and having children. And being a wife (or husband) and having kids isn’t a bad thing (it’s wonderful & great!) however, ITS NOT THE MOST IMPORTANT THING! Our life goal should be to serve and honor God. So in a sense, people do make an idol of marriage and family. 

These modern day idols are very tempting, I know! Francis Chan said, “I have one good reason why you should walk away from temptation right now. One reason: GOD. IS. BETTER.” 

Everything in that list above isn’t bad under the right circumstances. It’s when we place our focus and dedicate our lives to those things instead of God that it becomes a problem. 

I challenge you to pray and ask God to reveal any idols you may have in your life. Ask Him to help you overcome them and put your life focus back on Jesus Christ. 

We need to stop placing our focus on meaningless and/or less important things & truly, wholeheartedly focus on Jesus Christ.

Micah 4:5 says, “Though the nations around us follow their idols, we will follow the Lord our God forever & ever.” 

Thanks for stopping by! I hope you enjoyed this post! -Maddie💛

Compromises

Psalms 119:3 says, “They do not compromise with evil, and they walk only in His paths.” Most people like to view themselves as upright, good, moral people. We try our best to live our lives according to the will of God. However, as humans, it is very easy to compromise our faith for worldly desires. People do not like to think of themselves as fallible or with the ability to do wrong, but everyone is, even Christians. In scripture, there are so many examples of people who are thought of as heroes and amazing people who compromised their faith for worldly reasons. It should be the goal of believers in Christ to look at these examples and use it to help keep on the right path of following God.

2 Samuel 11 is a very familiar story. It tells of the sins David and Bathsheba. First, David slept with Bathsheba while she was married, and when he found out that she was pregnant with his child, he committed another sin. David sent Bathsheba’s husband, Uriah, off to be killed in war. David compromised his faith and relationship with God for lust, sexual immorality, and murder. Colossians 3:5 says, “So put to death the sinful, earthly things lurking within you. Have nothing to do with sexual immorality, impurity, lust, and evil desires. Don’t be greedy, for the greedy person is an idolater, worshipping the things of this world.

Abram, or as he was later known, Abraham, was elderly and childless. In Genesis 16 it tells the story of how Abram and his wife Sarai were promised a son by God. However, Abram soon grew impatient and began to doubt God and His promise. Abram then took the situation into his own hands and had a child with another woman, who was not his wife. This caused an abundance of conflict later. Not too long later, Abram’s wife became pregnant and gave birth to a son. God had a plan for Abram’s life, however, Abram chose to take control because he didn’t trust God and was lacking in faith. Proverbs 3:5 quotes, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding.

After the people of Israel were delivered from Egypt by the almighty God, a lot of things happened. Numbers 13 goes into detail about how the Israelites were coming to the promise land and they sent twelve spies into Canaan to see the land. Two of the scouts had faith while the other ten let fear compromise their faith. Because of this, the Israelites wandered for forty more years and all of them but the two faithful spies died. Deuteronomy 31:6 says, “So be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid and do not panic before them. For the Lord your God will personally go ahead of you. He will neither fail you nor abandon you.

A large majority of people stumble in their faith and compromise where they know they shouldn’t have. And as you can see, they have many reasons for it. The only way to keep pure and focused on God is by committing to Him and by continually seeking Christ in all that is done. Worldly desires can be very tempting, but compromising a relationship God isn’t worth it. Romans 12:2 says, “Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you by changing the way you think. Then you will learn what God’s will is for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.