Firstfruits began with an idea: How could women’s needs to gather with other women, experience God’s love and go forth more centered on their own giftedness and purpose be met? Then the Holy Spirit stepped in and something powerful happened!
In the beginning … Firstfruits began as a vision for a women’s ministry whose purpose was to gather women to experience God’s love. And as a result, be transformed!

As word spread about this unique opportunity, other parishes became interested in hosting a Firstfruits gathering. It became apparent to the founders of Firstfruits that this “gathering” needed to be moveable. We became known as a moveable feast of spiritual opportunities for women.

Service with a Smile

One of my blog readers emailed me with her idea of a language without words that when expressed causes us to meet God. Rosie is her name. She had been reading my series of blogs on this topic and was kind enough to share her thoughts.

 

Rosie’s language without words is service. More specifically, serving others without judgment and with joy. When we witness that kind of service or are the recipients of that kind of service we meet God’s love and tender care in a powerful way.

 

I just wish it wasn’t so hard.

 

Think of all those we are called to serve in a day: spouses, children and elderly parents, co-workers, customers, clients and patients, the marginalized, the lonely, the poor, and the stranger. In short, our brothers and sisters. That is a tall order.

On top of our call to serve, we are to do it as Jesus did: free of judgment and with joy in our hearts. Often with no gratitude or recognition.

 

To serve without judgment. To serve with joy. Which one of those “languages” is hardest for you? Which one requires the most grace to accomplish?

 

How often we deem someone not worthy of our service as we judge his or her choices, motives, and attitudes. How often do we approach our service to others with resentment and mediocrity rather than joy? Rather than seeing them as brothers and sisters in need we see them as a burden and our service as an obligation, an unavoidable task.

 

When this is our approach to service, others meet our weaknesses rather than God.

 

The only way we can express this language of service, as it was intended is to open ourselves to the unlimited power within us in the Holy Spirit. To fire up the fruits of the Holy Spirit that are at our disposal so that our judgmental attitudes are transformed into love and acceptance and our attitude of obligation is transformed into joy.

 

The pay off is that through that kind of service we bring others face to face with God. Service then becomes a gift and a privilege.

 

Mary, my Firstfruits partner in crime, speaks this language of joyful, non-judgmental service very eloquently. Whether it’s coming in after hours to scrub the Kiwi Café floor before an event or rearranging chairs at the last minute because I didn’t think they looked right (Don’t judge…), there is a joy in her heart. Her joy comes from knowing the joy her service brings to the lives of those she serves.

 

In her selfless gift of service I, along with many others, have met God.

 

Thanks Rosie, for sharing your thoughts.

Any one else out there with an idea?

 

Joan

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Joan Carey, Firstfruits executive director, is an author and speaker with a passion for helping women grow in their relationships with God. Her Ponder This book contains a series of modern day parables sure to get you thinking about and seeing our extraordinary God in our ordinary experiences. Joan invites you to use resources on this website for daily reflection in your journey to grow in God's loving care for you.
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