40 Day Walk With God — May 9, 2014

Day 19–

John 15:16-18
You didn’t choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you could go and produce fruit and so that your fruit could last. As a result, whatever you ask the Father in my name, he will give you. I give you these commandments so that you can love each other.

As a child and youth I was given a strong foundation in the Methodist Church through Sunday School, worship, VBS. and MYF. As a young wife and mother, our new church invested in me as I taught youth Sunday School. Later we moved to a new town just as the church was completing their Family Life Center.

Because the church wanted to reach out to the children in the community they allowed me to share my vocation of teaching ballet, tap and tumbling. They also provided me a nurturing environment in which to fall in love with God’s Word. I took advantage of ministry opportunities by teaching youth Sunday School, and by participating on youth mission trips and with the United Methodist Women. A couple of years ago my husband and I served as (what we call) missionaries with a rural church. We learned from them the importance of family connections and their acceptance of all people.

In 2011, we changed churches. This church, although predominantly filled with retired people, is involved in so many ways in our community, our district, our Tennessee Conference, and the World. It fully supports me as the Tennessee Conference Lay Leader.

As I reflect on my life, many people and churches come to mind. These people are part of my own “Hall of Faith,” as in Hebrews, chapter eleven. Who is in your Hall of Faith? I encourage you to take time to give thanks to God, and make a call or send a card expressing your thankfulness for their influence in your life.

Dear Jesus, thank you for all the clergy and lay persons that loved me and invested themselves in my life. Encourage us to look for ways to love one another producing the fruit of the Spirit that lasts forever. In the powerful name of Jesus we pray. AMEN.

Holly Neal
Tennessee Conference Lay Leader