Note: my good friend posted this on Facebook recently. So many lessons in so few words.
It never ceases to amaze me how church has become a “happy gathering place.” Not everyone is happy. People are hurting. You can slide in and slip out without anyone caring to notice the pain in your eyes. Yet God is there and your soul that is longing to know Him is able to find truth even in a sea of people and programs. Even still, in the midst of coffee, worship, trending sermons and service kiosks we search to please God. To please God is to obey and to obey is sacrifice. To sacrifice is to roll up your sleeves and get you hands dirty, to love and serve with a heart forgiven by an Almighty God.
I think of my grandmother who was rejected for being an alcoholic. She wasn’t ever going to go to church. She once wrote a note that said ” if there is a God where can I find Him in this abyss?” This note was a heart cry of desperation from a life stained with guilt and regret.
My Mom was the only one who cared for her. My mom came to Jesus because someone rolled up there sleeves, faced the awkward and sacrificed to go to her. It was tough, but my Mom accepted Jesus as a result of this sacrifice and then told my grandma about Jesus. My Grandma was later saved by Jesus from the “abyss”. That truth of salvation was later shared with me and then to Bob and now my kids.
The church doesn’t need anymore coffee bars.
The church needs to be the hands and feet of Jesus to the broken. That’s not a happy place, that’s a tear stained pursuit of joy that can only come from the Lord.
Footnote: “Give her the reward of her labor…” Proverbs 31:31
A Sunday Drive
It was a beautiful Sunday afternoon to take a nice long drive. We did because there was purpose. A young man was stranded in a city he didn’t live in. We picked him up and later took him to his home, but not until we took him to hear David Ring, an evangelist who did not let physical limitations restrict his service to our Lord. You see, he was born dead only to be revived 18 minutes later. Struggling with cerebral palsy all his life, David has preached in more than 7,000 churches over the last 44 years, with the message of the cross. I wanted my friend to hear him. The Sunday drive totaled 400 miles but worth it all.
A Trip Around the World
This trip was nothing compared to the sacrifice that a group of individuals made to travel to Nashville for a conference on orphan care. Several of our church families hosted 14 people from nations around the world. Priscilla and I kept a young man from Congo. The others were from India, Moldova, Latvia, Switzerland, Latin America, and South Africa. They came to learn how to better serve orphans in their country. Our guest, Colin has a dream of starting an orphanage. The dis-guarded street children live along the highways. He has an ambitious dream. Chronic political turmoil has deterred many organizations from working in Democratic Republic of Congo. I played a small but fun role of transporting them to and from the conference in a van.
I Am Blessed…are you
The theme of David’s messages and the heartbeat of these servants from around the world was the same; I am blessed.
As well, Priscilla and I are blessed by your prayers and financial support.
Jesus said, “It is more blessed to give than to receive”.