Called To Serve

Last month I had the privilege to take a team from the congregation in which I serve to Mixco, Guatemala to teach English as a Second Language (ESL). For the past four years we have sponsored a local school that offers 100 plus students and their families English lessons every weekend free of charge. The outcomes have been amazing! We have seen students grow in their knowledge of God and the English language. Though many of the students live in extremely impoverished conditions, their love for God and learning is rich and plentiful. Every I visit, I am always deeply moved and grateful to God for this opportunity to learn from this loving community.

For the past ten years I have had the honor to serve and partner with a number of organizations and groups in the field of missions. From medical missions in the Dominican Republic to providing English lessons in Guatemala and everything in between, I can truly say that all of these experiences have changed me and made me a better servant of God filled with more compassion, and sincerity for humanity. I have a deeper understanding of what it means to serve. The call to serve is a much deeper connection then just collecting finances or resources to aid a community. It is not a photo opportunity to say: “Look what I’m doing.” It is a mandate to invite others to connect, care, and create synergy and on-going partnerships with communities and local organizations. It is an invitation to offer hospitality and “the best” we have to give to communities who might not get resources otherwise. It is a call for us to be the hands and feet of Jesus Christ on this earth.

Jesus teaches that God’s reign is characterized in the present, not by powerful works and miracles, but by deeds of love, mercy, and compassion, especially toward those most in need. If we cannot share freely and fully as Christ did, or if we do not make ourselves available to do so, this indicates that our relationship with God and the world is not as healthy and whole as could be. We have to give something of ourselves, something of our wealth, our comfort, our sweat and tears, just the way Christ did. And then I believe, I know, we will experience more fully the power of Christ’s death and resurrection; the significance of the sacrifice that Christ made for each of us!

This is what it means to be a Christian, a disciple. We love those who probably can’t give anything in return. We do what we can to give them what they need. And we do that not with a goal of earning God’s love or anyone else’s, not to curry favor, or to make sure we are considered righteous at the end of time. When Christians go out in missions and serve the needs of the people in this world with no expectation of anything in return, they are giving two gifts — one gift which satisfies a practical need, and one gift which opens a window to the love and grace of God that is open to all.

We are Christ bearers before others in our homes, in the church, in school, at work, in the whole world. What would happen if, every day, we were always conscious of this truth and did our best to put it into practice?

We are Jesus ambassadors to others here on this earth. We are His hands and his feet to be a blessing to all those we come in contact with. For we know that God in Christ Jesus endured the most amazing, self-giving mission in the history of the world so that all people might have abundant life, so that we might have what we need most.

What is your mission? How will you answer the call to serve? What are you passionate about? Every one of us is passionate about something. Passion can be defined in a number of ways but what it all comes down to is this: What is it that compels you to get up and get moving? What do you desire most of all in your life? What is it that consumes your time, demands your love and grabs your attention? My prayer for you this day, and as we begin to embark upon this new year that somewhere in the answer to that question, the act of helping others and showing the love of God in a tangible way resides.

This JOY!



But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord.”


In this third week of Advent, we pause and reflect on JOY! We reflect upon all that has transpired around us and this nation. Though the celebratory bells rang loudly and the confetti filled the air in Alabama this past week, this type of joy is truly only temporary.

It was a historic feat and reminder to the world that every vote does indeed count! It was a shout in the honor of the 4 little black girls that were killed in the 1963 church bombing in Birmingham. It was a wake-up call that justice can still “roll down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.  However moments later, this joy was shaken, by bitterness and politics. The world’s joy is fickle. It comes and goes when it pleases. This is not true joy, but happiness. It is the “happenings” of the world and our day to day lives that can trouble us, if we allow it too, just like in the days of the shepherds in the fields.

How do you think the shepherds felt when the angel appeared to them in the evening? Clearly the normal human response would probably be bewilderment and some type of confusion. The shepherds were doing their normal routine, and then here comes an angel. The angel calmed their fear by giving them the greatest news of magnificent JOY, a Savior is born, Christ the Lord.

So  this week as we light the candle of JOY let us ponder these things in our hearts: Light, the spark of fire that brings a deep sense of warmth and joy on a cold night. Light, the gleam of the angel who told the shepherds the greatest news ever told. Light, the illumination that brings us joy, when all we see is darkness. JOY, the world didn’t give it, the world can’t take it away!


One of my favorite Shirley Caesar songs is entitled: “This Joy.” My favorite lyric from this song is a line that states “This joy I have, the world didn’t give it to me and the world can’t take it away!”

Believe me daily, people, situations, and things outside of our control try to take our joy. It seems that when all is going quite normal, a plot twist comes our way and tries to trip us up. If we are not careful, we let it.

Now, let’s be truthful; we all have our moments where we allow our joy to get kidnapped. However we should remember the words of good old Shirley, “the world didn’t give you YOUR joy and the world can’t take/steal it away!

Daily we must arm ourselves with the mindset that we will choose joy. We will choose to find the silver lining even in the midst of what seems a grey space. True joy is the realization that our joy is made complete through the power of Christ.

Choose joy. Keep a journal this week. Write about a joyful moment everyday this week.


God of Love, Peace, and JOY we thank you for this Advent season. We honor and give you thanks for being the JOY in our lives even in the midst of confusion. God as we embark upon this week and this season, help us to be JOY givers, Love bringers, Peace makers, and Light bearers. Remind us that the joy YOU give us is whole and complete; the world didn’t give it and it surely can’t take it away. Amen.

Blessings & JOY,

Rev. Christal Bell




For a child is born to us, a Son is given to us. The government will rest on his shoulders. And he will be called: Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.


Peace is not the absence of chaos, but is the knowledge that the presence of Christ is always present with us.

In this second week of Advent, we pause and reflect upon all that is going on around us. Flaming fires, political unrest, and a host of news headlines have left many of us speechless and numb. They have inundated our hearts and minds in such a way that words, actions, and even signs of hope and peace  are at times hard to find or speak. However there is always hope and there are always words of peace that we can give and bring. The shalom that the Christ-child brings is the help that we need and the hope that we can give!

So this week as we light the candle of PEACE let us ponder these things in our hearts: Light, the illumination that blocks out the darkness. Light, the shining source of heavenly peace that reminds us that we are people of the Light. Light, the armor that shields us from those dark spaces and places that try to overtake us. Light helps lead the way to PEACE everlasting.


Where can you be an agent of peace? What spaces and places is God calling you to speak peace, and remind others that the Light has come?


God of Love and Peace we thank you for this Advent season. We honor and give you thanks for being the PEACE in our lives even in the midst of chaos. God as we embark upon this week and this season, help us to be Hope bearers, Love bringers, Peace makers, and Light givers. Help us to expose those dark spaces and places that have kidnapped the promises of PEACE that You bring. Help us to be peacemakers, Amen.


WAKE UP: Hope is Here


Besides this you know what hour it is, how it is full time now for you to wake from sleep. For salvation is nearer to us now than when we first believed; the night is far gone, the day is at hand. Let us then cast off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light.

MEDITATION: As we embark on the season of Advent, which is the first season of the Christian Church year, we celebrate with light. Light, the illumination that blocks out the darkness. Light, the shining source of heavenly hope that reminds us that we are people of the Light. Light, the armor that shields us from those dark spaces and places that try to overtake us. Light helps lead the way to HOPE everlasting.

This week, as we celebrate the HOPE that the Christ Child brings, let us not forget that this ancient story still illuminates our hearts today! Let the LIGHT in! Allow the light of Christ to surround you and help you reflect and celebrate the amazing ways that God has kept you even in the midst of difficult moments.

APPLICATION: In the words of Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes “Wake up Everybody no more sleepin’ in bed.” It is time for us to WAKE UP and become agents of light in our communities, churches, and core spaces and places. Now is not the time to be silent on issues that impact the world. It’s time to WAKE UP and not only be the light but to share the LIGHT that is the Christ. So, this week how will you WAKE UP? What things will you stop sleeping on? It’s time to wake up from slumber and aid in liberating the masses of those who have been stuck in the darkness for way too long.


God of Love and Light, we thank you for this Advent season. We honor and give you thanks for being the LIGHT in our lives. God as we embark upon this week and this season, help us to be Hope bearers, Love bringers, Peace makers, and Light givers. Help us to expose those dark spaces and places that have kidnapped the promises of HOPE that You bring. God of Light, help us to be your light in this world. Amen.


Rev. Christal Bell

Director of  Uplifted. LLC


Three years ago I was asked to serve in a capacity that was completely outside of my comfort zone. I was asked to serve as a teaching ambassador in Guatemala. I did not know what to expect. I did not speak the language. I had no clue what I would find when I arrived. However, three years and over 100 students served later, I absolutely love our mission site in Mixco, Guatemala. Out of all the places that I have served globally, this sacred place speaks to my heart every single time I visit.

During the school year, the church I work for sponsors an ESL learning experience for children and youth. We sponsor this free educational program understanding that the benefits will follow them for a lifetime. The ESL experience has afforded some of the students to not only obtain better employment opportunities, but has also boosted their self- confidence!

It has been a joy and honor to watch these precious little ones, literally grow up in front of my eyes. Every year they are not only speaking better English, but want to fill me in on what has been going on in their lives since the last time we encountered each other. While many think the field of missions deals mostly with the tangible buildings, such as repairing roofs, wheelchair ramps, etc; the heart of missions is really the people! While tangible rebuilds are necessary, it is imperative that one bonds with the community.

I am thankful that God has called me to this sacred beautiful land to serve. I am excited to see what this week holds. I am sure like always, I will encounter the Divine in a new way when I am there. The people, the food, the culture, the land; all remind me of the majesty of God’s creation.

God is amazing! Stay Uplifted.

Dios es asombroso.


Rev. Christal

Soul Food

This week I was blessed to serve as the Mission Service Coordinator for a Christian Children/Youth Conference. While I watched and took photographs of over 200 people from ages 5-70 pack food for children and families they would never meet, I witnessed the packers themselves “getting fed; soul food. The pulse in the air was magnetic and the Spirit in all her glory abided with us.

With each scoop, every sealed bag, taped box, and loud cheer you could literally see all of the participants taking pride in their accomplishments and part they were planning to relieve world hunger.

According to the World Hunger Education Service (the statistical arm of the World Hunger organization) “Approximately 3.1 million children die from hunger each year.”  

Organizations like Feed My Starving Children are providing opportunities not only to become educated about the link to world hunger and poverty, but also provide a tangible way for people to help alleviate a systemic problem.

If you would like to help alleviate world hunger, I invite you to play the trivia game on This trivia site game feeds millions of people by providing rice for each answer that is correct.





Rev. Christal



SOUL-Food Pictures at Feed My Starving Children.

GOD is a MIGHTY Fortress

A couple of years ago, I had the honor of traveling to Cuba to learn about the social, religious, and political climate that surrounded the local Seminary. It was here in Cuba, that some of us took a fortress tour. While learning and reflecting upon the history of this massive monument, I couldn’t help but remember ….

The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. Psalm 18:2


No matter what you go through or what darts may be fired in your direction, KNOW and recall the times GOD has proven GOD’s mighty power and protection before in your life.

Rest Well Beautiful Ones,

Rev. Christal