By Holly Jo Linzay, Regional Reporter
“For I am already being poured out like a drink offering, and the time for my departure is near. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race. I have kept the faith.”
II Timothy 4:6b-7
PINEVILLE – God is calling us to live sacrificially and to pour ourselves out in service to Him.
“There is nothing more exciting than to be poured out for God. There is nothing better than to be in the center of God’s will,” Jaye Martin, the keynote speaker, told the women gathered at the Kaleidoscope conference.
More than 270 women were challenged to pour themselves out in service to God at the Kaleidoscope conference Feb. 7 at First Baptist Church in Pineville.
In order to be “poured out” for the Lord, Martin said, “We must give ourselves in service and sacrifice. But God only uses a clean vessel.”
Kaleidoscope is a Cooperative Program-fueled event sponsored by the Louisiana Baptist Convention Women’s Missions & Ministry.
During the day-long conference, Martin, president of Jaye Martin Ministries in Houston, referenced how Paul was pouring out his life for Christ in his writings to Timothy in II Timothy chapter 4.
“A missing element in Christian life today, I believe, is celebration – the testimony of what God is doing,” Martin said, encouraging believers to share with others.
“We need to allow God to fill us up first, before we can be poured out and teach others,” she added.
During the past year, Martin said she has faced many challenges with moving to a new home, major changes in her ministry and experiencing back pain issues. No matter what challenges or obstacles a person faces, Martin said, “God will meet you where you are, through your emptiness and through your brokenness.”
Part of being “poured out” for Jesus is staying the course, Martin added. “We need to endure hardships. It won’t be easy and doesn’t always flow.”
Martin shared how when she first started out in ministry, she was trying to open doors on her own strength, “I was shoving and begging.”
But Martin said she realized she had to give her ministry over to the Lord. “Paul fought the fight, but let God fight the battle for him.”
Early in her ministry, she was going to Europe with her husband. Martin wanted to minister abroad and contacted missionaries about the possibility of her ministering.
“Out of 500 missionaries, no one wanted my help,” Martin told the women at the conference, adding that God told her to wait on Him.
“Run your race to win, but let God help you finish the course,” Martin said. “He knows what you need. He will provide protection and provision.”
During the opening service, Lisa Pierre, a worship leader on the worship team for Beth Moore’s Living Proof Ministries’ Bible Studies in Houston, led the women in worship. Afterward, the women had the opportunity to choose from 10 different breakout sessions to attend. The topics ranged from biblical womanhood in today’s culture to frugal living to time management to finding your passion for Christ. There were sessions on intercessory prayer, surrendering the call to ministry and protecting children from child predators and sex trafficking.
“Women work from the heart and when a heart is in tune with God, we are willing to be poured out,” Janie Wise, LBC Women’s Ministry & Ministries strategist, told the attendees.
The Kaleidoscope conference is offered annually as a training ground for women who want to “pour out” their lives for Christ, she added.
DeLynn Spinks, who came with a group of 10 from Montpelier Baptist Church, said it was her first time to attend Kaleidoscope.
“I think women need opportunities like this to get together to learn things to bring back to our churches. These sessions are equipping us with knowledge that we can take back and help us to minister,” Spinks said.
In one breakout session, musician, storyteller, and ministry leader, Gwen Williams, better known as “Ms. Chocolate,” regaled the attendees with humorous stories from her childhood.
She encouraged the women to use their talents and abilities for ministry and service.
“We are all gifted to serve. There is no such thing as not having a talent. Whatever you have a passion to do, that’s your talent,” Williams enthused.
She joked about trying to find her own path as a young college student, “I flunked out of nursing school, but soon realized that my passion is running my mouth. I didn’t know talking was my gift. But like it says in Jeremiah 20:9, ‘His word is in my heart like a fire, a fire shut up in my bones.’ I can’t go five minutes without talking about Jesus.”
Once a person finds out what their gift is, Williams said, they need to work hard at it. “Where can God use you? Start where you are, use what you have and do what you can,” she said.
“God will provide a place for you to pour out your gift,” Williams added. “When you have Jesus that is all you need. Your potential is God-given. You don’t have to have a Harvard education to serve God’s people. Do what you can. Don’t sit on your gift,” Williams noted.
Claire Watson, from First Baptist Church Bossier, said she was excited about serving in the women’s ministry at her church.
In the Biblical Womanhood in Today’s Culture session, Watson said she learned of the vital role women play in church.
“I learned women are extremely important in church, but our roles are different from men. We just need to find our role, our talent,” Watson said, adding that the conference has been a “blessing.”