My Enlarging Territory

Several years ago the book The Prayer of Jabez became very popular in Christian circles. The prayer is taken from 1 Chronicles 4:10:

And Jabez called on the God if Israel saying
“Oh that You would bless me, indeed,
and enlarge my territory;
that Your hand would be with me,
and that You would keep me from evil,
that I may not cause pain.”
So God granted him what he requested.

The small book expanded on each part of the prayer. Many read that book and prayed that prayer. I was one of them. It’s been posted where I can see it and remember to pray it periodically.

I’ve been thinking back over the last several years of my life. God has enlarged my territory in ways I could never have imagined.

At the time I read the book I was the secretary at the church we were attending. The skills I gained and honed as secretary of that church led to an opportunity. My friend Jackie came to me and asked for my help in organizing an art show. God had put some images on her heart, and she felt that He was calling her to show that art at the church. One of my responsibilities in helping with that event was to take the words God had given Jackie, the meanings of the art pieces, and write them out so they made sense. I created a booklet for those who attended the art show. We wound up joining forces for two successful art shows.

That led to another opportunity. Jackie and another friend came to me. They were starting a business and needed brochures. They asked what I would charge to create a brochure for them. I still do brochures and fliers for several different clients as well as brochures, booklets, and such for my church.

About this same time I quit my secretary job, started doing some secretarial temp work, and started my direct sales business.

Jackie began a speaking ministry, and I began helping with her publicity.

My direct sales business took off, my secretarial temping brought me into contact with lots of people in lots of different settings, and we changed churches.

I volunteered to do a directory for our new church. Having spent some time doing other publications, I had developed some skills and had some new ideas for setting that directory up.

November of 2005 our Pastor was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia. Once he had beaten that and was on the mend, he talked about writing a book about the lessons he’d learned. Since I’d been working with publications and had done some transcribing, I offered to help him put his words on paper. We self-published that book, The Day I Was Blessed with Leukemia, and are giving it away free. We’re getting word that it’s touching people’s lives. Some people are even using it in Bible studies.

A new outreach ministry began at our church, and I’ve had the honor of helping by creating brochures and flyers for that ministry.

Jackie used artwork from one of the art shows for a memorial to our dear friend who lost her battle with ovarian cancer in February 2009. I had the blessing of helping her to create cards and get them printed. Sales of the cards generate donations to a ministry close to my friend’s heart.

Jackie is currently working on a book about the Exodus of the Israelites. I’m been helping her put her words on paper. Who knows where this may lead.

I grew up in a family that didn’t try new things because they bore a chance of failure. Now I find myself stretching my abilities and trying brand new things again and again. My territory has enlarged beyond my wildest dreams. One step outside my area of confidence led to another, then another, then another.

The amazing thing is that this is really just one area of my life—one direction of expansion. There are many others. Don’t be afraid to take that next step. You never know where it might lead.

By the way, if you are interested in The Day I Was Blessed with Leukemia, you can read it online at http://www.skinnerchapel.org/book.htm.

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