The annual international Double Portions Ministry convention organized by the Double Portions Ministry Women's Centre took place at the Santa Clara Hyatt Regency Hotel, from the evening of the 14th through to the afternoon of the 15th. One to two hundred sisters from 12 churches in the San Francisco Bay area attended in preparation to become "talented women in Heaven".
This is the 9th consecutive year of the Double Portions Ministry (DPM) convention, with "talented women in Heaven" as theme. The roles of women have become more and more complicated with time, being a part of family, church, and society. One of DPM's callings is to help women find their role and value, and to help them live the unique calling given by God at the time of His creation of the woman, to become the tool in God's hands, someone who cannot be replaced.
The pioneer of the DPM Centre, Belinda Liu, quoted Ephesians 2:11 during her first sharing on the evening of the 14th to encourage the audience to become tools in God's hands: "we are originally created by God, made whole in Christ, the purpose of which is for us to do good, and this is what God has prepared for us to do". God's purpose is in each and every one of us. As God creates His grand plan, he needs tools and ingredients, and each and every sister is an ingredient.
Belinda then quoted Judges 9:8-14 to explain what kind of attitude the sisters must arm themselves with to become "talented women in Heaven". This scripture piece describes 3 kinds of trees, the olive tree, the fig tree, and the vine, respectively. The trees wished to name one of these as king, however, the three trees were loyal to their own works and refused to leave their posts. Belinda said, these trees could represent people, and in order to become "talented women in Heaven" (the ingredient) and to live out their purposes in life and exercise their blessings, they must hold the same kind of determination.
Belinda explained the unique role of each tree, in hopes that the sisters may find their unique blessing that God has planted in them, and then to live it out. First of all, the olive tree. The olive tree says: "should I give up my oil, by which both gods and humans are honored, to hold sway over the trees?" (Judges 9:9) As a Christian, we must not forget the two important tasks of honoring God and respecting people. Belinda, who travels to Israel for prayer walks every year, has a deep understanding of the local olive trees. She stated that olive trees have many uses, from the interior to the exterior. She is especially impressed by the many varieties of olive oil, which result from repeated applications of pressure and processing. Those with a lower sediment rate can be used as oils, and those with a higher sediment rate can be used to make fire, and even the residues of olives can be used to make soap.
Belinda encouraged the sisters, that in order to be as useful as the olive tree, one has to go through many cycles of trials and tribulations, just as in the lives of women. Women may at times feel pressured to the point of breaking, but this is a necessary step in order to make them able to serve God and people. Belinda says: "breaking will bring tremendous strength in our service work".
The second tree is a fig tree, and it says: "should I give up my fruit, so good and sweet, to hold sway over the trees?" (Judges 9:11) Everybody knows that the fruit of the fig tree is very sweet. Belinda joked that sisters are the same, that they are all "sweet ladies", created by God and willed by God to exhibit this beauty.
Then how can the sisters reap "the sweet fruit"? The lesson that we must all learn is "the fruit of the mouth", to make praises, comforting words, and considerate words part of what comes out of our mouths. At a deeper level, these words should stem from the heart, and thus we have to learn to possess "a sweet heart", that is, a heart of blessing, praises, and appreciation for people. Besides, the Bible spoke of the fig as a fruit with medicinal powers, which heals when applied to rotting skin. Belinda wished that every sister could receive this healing, and become the channels that overflow with blessings and healings.
Lastly, she spoke of the vine. The vine says: "should I give up my wine, which cheers both gods and humans, to hold sway over the trees?" (Judges 9:13) The vine is used to make wine, and the new wine in biblical terms refers to spiritual works. As Acts 2:1-13 described the coming of the spirit in the day of the Pentacost, the disciples were filled with the Holy Spirit, just as they were "filled with the new wine". When Peter preached while filled with the Holy Spirit, 3000 people were drawn to believe in God. We must pray for being filled with the Holy Spirit, to let the blessings and talents that God gave us show through, so that both God and man can be joyous.
Belinda said that Mary the mother of Christ is the perfect example of a vine that makes both God and man joyous. Mary had the heart and determination to serve God at a young age. When the angel told her that she would be pregnant and give birth to a child, she was not yet an adult and this was not an easy task to carry out, but she was willing to let the angel's words be fulfilled in her. When she arrived at her relative Elizabeth's place, both their children jumped in their wombs, and they were filled with the Holy Spirit, and Mary gave the most beautiful praise to God: "My heart yearns to honor God, my spirit is gladdened by God my Savior". Thus, Mary was determined and focused on pleasing God.
Furthermore, Mary has a sensitive heart, and is always willing to help solve others' problems. In the marriage at Cana, the host ran out of wine, which was a big problem at the time. Mary then urged Jesus to help solve this problem, however Jesus replied: "why is this our business? My time has not come." Mary did not feel rejected or throw a temper, she just went and told the servants, "do whatever Jesus asks you to do", exhibiting her trust and belief. Mary then left quietly, and we saw what she did had fulfilled a tremendous godly miracle. Mary truly possessed a heart to bring joy to both God and people.
Finally, Belinda encouraged all the sisters, that becoming a talented woman in Heaven is not an extremely difficult task. We are quick to compare ourselves with others, be envious of others' abilities, but think that we cannot do much. But we are tools used by God, not to do some extraordinary tasks, but in the everyday ordinary things. Even a personal hobby can become an "ingredient" or a tool in God's hands. Belinda wished that we could all see God's blessings in us, and live out our God-designed lives.
For more DPM news about "talented women in Heaven", please stay tuned for further news in the Gospel Herald.
[Editor's note: Carol Lee translated the article.]