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A Taste of Chocolate for the Soul

(Introduction)

     

Introduction

A Taste of Chocolate for the Soul –

How it All Started

 See how the Word is very much like chocolate.  Read and learn how negative, sad events were transformed into a successful women’s ministry and book.

It all started one bleak, dreary September morning, on my back porch, while I huddled in my tiny corner surrounded by the warmth of my little white lights.  I was feeling sad because I received the news that many close friends and church family members had just been let go, fired, or down-sized from their jobs.

I’ve been downsized so many times in school systems that I should be a size one!  I jest now, but at the time it was devastating to my family and me.  I had over 20 years with the local school system, and after the initial sadness of a job loss, I would always be hired in a position that was a better fit for me. I eventually learned to redirect my thoughts to a positive place, knowing that God would open a window of opportunity ne.

I prayed for guidance so I could assist my friends and church family. I continued to rise early and read my scripture in the morning, on the back porch, still surrounded by my warm white lights.  As I prayed for guidance and wisdom I received a ‘God-Whisper’ that kept repeating itself: “Carol, step up.” 

I have learned that when I get a nudge, whisper or even a smack between the eyes as I am in prayer and the Word, that it is not coincidence but rather is intentional from the Holy Spirit.  I say, “Okay, step up.  Step up to what?”  I keep reading and writing.  I know full well that within the next few days, I will somehow receive an affirmation as to what the whisper means.

The next day, Sunday, I was approached by two ladies, looking and feeling very sad from the insecurities of job loss. They questioned me about our women’s ministry.  “Remember you were going to get the women’s ministry started last year?  Whatever happened to it?”  A second lady commented:  “I sure wish you would start something to cheer us up.”

Well, I am thinking, a women’s ministry?  I wonder.”

The next morning in the same chair, with the same grey, dark atmosphere, lit by my tiny white lights, I heard another God-whisper:  “Carol, step up”

Following is a summary of my God and Carol exchange:

God:     Carol, you need to step up. Don’t be so sad

Carol:    Well, God it is sad that so many people have lost jobs. People are scared, and want to know what’s going on

God:     Well, stop worrying. I’ve got it, but you need to step up

Carol:    Okay, step up to what?

God:     A women’s ministry. This is an opportunity for you to use your skills

Carol:    Whoa, women’s ministry! Oh my, I’ve done that before and well, it is a lot of work, and it takes an awful lot of time and energy.  I don’t think I can do it.

God:     No, you can’t do it all by yourself, but you have me

Carol:    Well God, in case you forgot, I’ve done this before and it seems it works for a while and the women get nagging each other, and make each other angry and they get jealous and

God:     Stop, I can assure you it won’t happen this time,

Carol:    How do I know that? You know how women are when you get more than two together . . .

God      Yes, I think I know how it can be, but it doesn’t have to be that way

Carol:    Okay.  How’s that going to work?

God:     Put me first

Carol:    Okay, that sounds logical to me.  It is hard to implement though

God:     Yes, but you can do it, if you step up.  Use this as an opportunity to keep me in the focus and bring them together.

Carol:    Okay.  God is first, then  . . .

God:     CHOCOLATE

Carol:    Oh my, now I know I must not be hearing this right.  I’m supposed to check this out with the Bible to be sure I didn’t just use that word for my own selfish gain.

God:     Here’s how it will be:  Holy Spirit first, then Chocolate, then you and the other ladies

Carol:    Okay, I will certainly pray on that to make it a reality

So, I ran the idea by several key ladies that I knew had a heart for women’s ministry and loved to serve the Lord.  I still wasn’t sure about the chocolate idea.  However the more I thought about it, the more I realized the benefits of chocolate.  Dark chocolate is desired by women; it tastes great; it has health benefits and would be a draw to get women together on any day of the week.  We were studying the parables of Jesus in our Women’s Bible Study - how Jesus used objects like mustard seeds, water, wine, bread, soil and dirt to teach the Scripture.  Jesus had been known to state on several occasions that some of the people were slow to learn so he used common place objects to relate the Word and his lesson. 

Bingo!  That’s it!  Chocolate would be the popular, everyday object ladies could relate to for fun, fellowship and blessings! I realized that, yes, chocolate was parallel to the Word in so many ways, and I was about to have the time of my life sharing this modern-day parable with as many women as possible.

The next morning in my prayer time I finally admitted to God, “I got it.” Chocolate would serve as the object in this parable to teach His word.  I felt him smiling down on me.  The next step was to call a meeting, and then see if anyone showed up.  I told God that if no one showed up, I could not do the ministry by myself.

God seemed to be saying “Don’t worry.  The ladies will be there and you will have lots of help.”

The following Tuesday I advertised for the first meeting.  To my delight, twelve women showed up, smiling, ready to go with pens, paper and chocolate in hand.

Thank you God,” I thought, “you did it again.”

I opened the meeting with my God whisper moments that had brought me to this point and my vision for the ministry.  The formula for success was: HOLY SPIRIT+CHOCOLATE+YOU=SUCCESS.

That formula was our prayer, our constant reminder for the ministry’s success.  Whenever I sensed toes were being stepped on, or individual agendas were pressed to the forefront, I issued the reminder.  My promise was: I would stick with this ministry as long as we followed this formula.  We each had the responsibility to stay on that wave length if this ministry was going to be a success and minister to the ladies.

God was right again, of course.  So now this modern-day parable is a viable women’s ministry.  Thankfully, I listened to the God-whisper, acted on it, and let the Holy Spirit work.

Were there times when things went wrong? Yes!  Did Satan try to stop us? Yes!  Did the ladies attempt to be selfish and step on toes? Once in a while.  Were we derailed? No.  Did we lose momentum?  No.  Why not?  Because I made sure we kept our original promise.  Stick to the formula ladies, think on it, pray on it, and talk to me tomorrow, if there was still a problem.  And there never was.  There were only apologies because one person lost focus occasionally.  That loss was only temporary.  Then we got right back on focus.

In the following pages you will see for yourself how the Word of God has sweetened a situation, calmed a relationship or just seemed deliciously appropriate:  much like a piece of dark chocolate in the afternoon! 

Scripture gives me the strength and energy to get through tough situations, sickness, and troublesome relationships.  Scripture lends balance to my life and directs me in situations.  As you read the stories I hope you can see and taste the sweetness of God’s Word.  May it become desirable, that you will want to taste Scripture every day.

Copyright 20121 by Dr. Carol S. Kennedy