Posts tagged: calling

I’m Remembering …

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By Paula Marolewski, July 11, 2010 4:31 pm

Some of you reading this may be struggling with your ministry, your purpose, your calling. You are plagued by doubt, exhausted by fatigue, depressed by an incredible lack of results. Take courage today!


  • I’m remembering people like Noah, who faithfully built the ark over the course of 70 to 100 years … in the midst of mockery and among a people of wickedness. Surely, he preached repentance during that time, but when the rains came, only his family was saved.


  • I’m remembering people like Joseph, who knew that God had great things for him, but who first endured betrayal, slavery, slander, and prison. Instead of growing bitter or rejecting God, he remained faithful to his calling to save not only his own family and people, but the entire Egyptian nation.


  • I’m remembering people like David, who knew he was called to be king, and yet endured 10 years of hiding in the wilderness, being hunted down like a wild animal.


  • I’m remembering people like Jeremiah, who was so overwhelmed by the scorn of his people, who endured such reproach and derision, that he finally cried out, “I will not remember God or speak his name anymore!” But then he admitted that “In my heart it becomes like a burning fire shut up in my bones; I am weary of holding it in and I cannot endure it” (Jer. 20:9). And so he continued to preach and proclaim the word of God, even though no one would listen.


  • I’m remembering people like Paul, who stated that he had been subject to “labors … [and] imprisonments, beaten times without number often in danger of death. Five times I received form the Jews thirty-nine lashes. Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was stoned, three times I was shipwrecked, a night and a day I have spent in the deep. I have been on frequent journeys, in dangers from rivers, dangers from robbers, dangers from my countrymen, dangers from the Gentiles, dangers in the city, dangers in the wilderness, dangers on the sea, dangers among false brethren; I have been in labor and hardship, through many sleepless nights, in hunger and thirst, often without food, in cold and exposure. Apart from such external things, there is the daily pressure upon me of concern for all the churches” (II Corinthians 11:23-28).


  • And yes, I’m remembering Jesus, whose own family thought him crazy, whose people rejected him, whose disciples deserted him at his greatest hour of need, who was slandered, insulted, mocked, and killed.


What’s the thread that binds all these people together? They didn’t fear failure, because they knew their purpose. They didn’t shy away from pain, because they had their eyes on the prize. They didn’t hesitate at sacrifice, because they were pressing on to their eternal reward.


Stand firm – God is with you!



© 2009 Paula Marolewski,


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Seedling: Kindle Afresh

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By Paula Marolewski, January 23, 2010 12:08 pm

“For this reason I remind you to kindle afresh the gift of God which is in you…” – II Timothy 1:6

We have all been given spiritual gifts by God (cf. I Corinthians 12:7). It would be great to think of these gifts as working almost independently of us … always pouring out strong and clean and powerful, like Niagara Falls. Unstoppable.

But the truth of the matter is, spiritual gifts are more like a fire – a fire that waxes and wanes depending on what we’re putting into it. Their effectiveness depends not only upon God, the Giver of the gifts, but also upon us, the recipients of the gifts. What are we doing with what we have been given?

To keep a fire burning steadily requires constant vigilance and effort. You have to gather the right kind of wood, place it properly, and feed the flame regularly. Failure to do so will allow the fire to burn down to its embers, and to eventually go out entirely.

That is why Paul, in his second epistle to Timothy, reminded the young man to “kindle afresh the gift of God which is in you.” He knew that the world could easily smother Timothy’s fire. He then showed Timothy exactly how to ensure that the fire of his spiritual gifts would burn hot and strong: Timothy would need to be disciplined (II Timothy 1:7). To ground himself in Scripture (II Timothy 1:13). To devote himself completely to God (II Timothy 2:4). To pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace (II Timothy 2:22). To use his gifts in every time and place (II Timothy 4:2,5).

What was true for him is also true for us. Let us “kindle afresh” the gifts that God has given to us. When we do, we will set the world on fire.

  • What are your spiritual gifts?
  • Is the fire of your spiritual gifts burning hot and strong, or are the darkness and the cold closing in around you?
  • If the fire of your spiritual gifts is waning, what do you need to do to “kindle afresh the gift of God which is in you”?


Copyright © 2010, Paula J. Marolewski. All rights reserved.

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The Case of the Open and Shut Mouth

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By Paula Marolewski, November 18, 2009 6:48 pm

Okay, I admit it – I really enjoy the Perry Mason novels by Erle Stanley Gardner. Hence the title of this post. (Some of Gardner’s Mason novels were The Case of the Lucky Loser, The Case of the Terrified Typist, The Case of the Waylaid Wolf … you get the point!)

I always thought it sounded so leveling when Mason would object in court that his opponent was presenting evidence that was “Incompetent, irrelevant, and immaterial!” And then I wondered – does God ever deliver that divine objection to us? For instance …

… when Abraham protested that he was 100 years old?

… when Moses complained that he couldn’t speak eloquently?

… when Isaiah confessed his sinfulness?

… when Jeremiah claimed that he was too young to be a prophet?

… when Mary pointed out her virginity?

… when Peter denied Jesus?

… when Paul persecuted the church?

In every case, we as humans would say, “Yes, that is a good argument as to why you can’t succeed/God can’t work/it can’t happen!”

But God stands up in the court of human affairs and thunders, “Incompetent, irrelevant, immaterial!”

He is the God of the Universe: 

  • No excuse is acceptable to him,
  • No problem is insurmountable to him,
  • No sin is unforgivable by him, and
  • No person is unusable by him!

So if you find yourself opening your mouth to say, “But, God …!” shut it immediately. All “buts” are “incompetent, irrelevant, and immaterial” when God is at work!


© 2009 Paula Marolewski,

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What If You Knew You Were Going To Fail?

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By Paula Marolewski, September 24, 2009 8:59 am

A popular question today in goal-setting seminars is “What would you do if you knew you could not fail?” And while that is an incredibly useful question, I have a harder one … and one that may be even more telling:

What would you do if you knew you were going to fail?

Or, put another way, what is so important to you that failure is no obstacle? What is the one thing you will seek to accomplish no matter how many times you fall down? What would still be worth the attempt, even if you knew beforehand you would never see the results you want?

Do you think those questions farfetched? Unreasonable? Consider for a moment …

… the prophets of God, who became laughingstocks, outcasts, and even prisoners because they dared to speak the Word of the Lord.

… the missionaries spending their lives on the field and never seeing the conversions they earnestly pray for, little knowing that they are sowing the seed and the next generation of missionaries will reap the harvest.

… the parents who pray nightly for their prodigal child, year after year after year.

I’m not saying that your dearest desires and deepest calling will end in failure. Far from it. In fact, if it is God’s calling, you actually cannot fail, regardless of the outcome here on earth. God brings an eternal perspective to the word “success.”

But the fact is, sometimes things don’t turn out the way we want on this side of heaven. Therefore, it’s important to ask yourself the question: Would I do this, even if it never turns out? Even if I never see any “success”? Would it still be worth it? If the answer is “Yes,” then that, more than anything else, is your purpose, your calling, your mission, your vision.


© 2009 Paula Marolewski,

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