Sunday was an awesome day. It was so very busy and yet I was completely blessed and amazed at how the Lord works. The thing is, I should be living like this everyday and I’m not…something’s got to change.
We talked about it at church, even had a conference to make us aware of the trips the church is offering for 2011. I’m getting antsy to go somewhere (you surprised?! probably not.). The story that stuck out to me was of a couple who lives on the river somewhere in South America- I think!- When asked what the woman is concerned with as she wakes up each morning she replies, (I’m restating in my own words…) “We don’t have electricity so I don’t have to worry about an electric bill. We don’t have running water, so I don’t have to worry about how to pay the water bill. We don’t have internet or phones so I don’t worry about any of the things that involves. We kill and grow our own food so I don’t worry about making money to provide food for my family. Our mud hut is paid in full, so I don’t worry about a house payment.” So what, might you ask, does concern this woman each morning as she wakes? ---How far they can get their boat down the river to tell people about the gospel. [pause] Let that sink in for a moment. Her number one priority is the gospel. Basically her only priority is the gospel. While I know we do have to give attention to these other things because we do not live on the river in the middle of South America, there is something to be said about her priority and why it is not our own. We seek to gain more things to distract us from this holy and pure calling, while she rejoices in having little. I’m not calling you to give up everything, but challenging you and myself to re-evaluate our priorities.
A divine appointment
While leaving church on my way to Wal-Mart, exhausted and really desiring a trip straight to bed, my friend and I were stopped by a police officer who was working security for our church that night during the Missions Conference. He was looking through one of the trip applications and began asking us questions, if we were planning to go, about the length of the trips and what they do on these trips. Keep in mind both of us are desperately ready to go. Yet he keeps asking questions. He seemed very interested, but shared that he did not meet the requirements to go on the trips anyway. To make a long story short, over the next 20-30 minutes we dove into gospel conversation with this man. The more he asked, the more we were energized to tell. Emotions were high by the time we left. This man has been invited to church often, but has had the excuse that he worked on Sundays for the last 6-7 yrs. His schedule was just changed and Sunday was supposed to be his first Sunday off. He was contracted to work security for our church for this coming Sunday, but a buddy needed to change and our new friend had no Sunday plans, so he switched. This put him working during our Missions Conference. I had no idea that I would go to a missions conference and have the opportunity to share the gospel. I hadn’t prepared, I was tired, I was even a little grumpy. Yet even in my sinful state, the Lord, in His abundant grace, allowed me to share with this man. Scripture says to always be prepared to give an account of the hope that we have in Christ. This, my friends, is what I got to do that night. I am anxious for more opportunities like this. Open your eyes, see who it is right next to you that needs to hear TODAY! Our new friend, Carlos, was not transformed that night, but his heart was stirred and he committed to coming to visit church this Sunday. Will you join me in praying that he will not be able to rest until he says yes to the Creator who wants to give him a whole new life?
A young mom by choice
I knew I wanted to adopt a family for Christmas this year. I thought it would be a stretch for my small budget, but as my first Christmas with a full time income, I wanted to be a blessing. So as it was announced that they had families available for us to take at theGATHERING on Thursday night as apart of the Advent Conspiracy, I went and grabbed one of the last ones. This young girl, a high schooler, had chosen instead of aborting her baby, to bring her daughter into the world, come what may. I cannot even begin to put myself in her shoes, as I am 25 yrs old and the thought of being a single mom terrifies me. I may not know her or her infant daughter’s name, but she is no longer a number on a card to me, she is a young woman blessed by a beautiful baby girl who needs a little help this Christmas. I had put some thought into my small shopping spree and decided on a certain amount that I wanted to spend. I knew it would not purchase all I would want to get her, but I was excited about what it could do! Sunday morning at church (I had not gone shopping yet), as I was walking with a couple people, a guy I had just met began to ask me about these cards he’d heard Luca talk about in Connection Class. Adopting kids or families, or something, he wasn’t sure. So I began sharing with him about the different things going on. I didn’t know where to get new cards, but showed him mine. He seemed interested but mentioned he might not be able to do one on his own. So I told him how people were going in together to do it, splitting the cost. We went our separate ways heading into the service, but afterwards he handed me a wad of cash and simply said, “I want to help.” Wow. I may never even
see this guy again, but this blessed me and it multiplied my ability to give! Over the afternoon I looked online at a few of the things the girl had requested for her daughter and they were a bit more than I had priced in my head. Even with this added money I was nervous about how much I could actually do for her. Walking out of the budget meeting at church that night a friend handed me a $20 and wanted to put it towards the gift too! Now fast forward through the missions conference and the gospel convo I mentioned above. I headed to the store. About an hour later, I walked out with a huge grin, despite having spent more than my allotted budget (let’s face it, this ALWAYS happens) on the gift. My driving factor was that she may get nothing else for Christmas than these few things that I have picked up for her. So I will stretch the peanut butter and jelly for a few more days rather than pick up a cart full of groceries, which I had planned to do.
My story is almost over, but I have to share this one last thing. I went home, it’s getting rather late, might I add, but I’m excited and awake from the events of the day. So I decide to do what every normal person does (ok so maybe not), I began balancing my check book. I had not deposited the check I had planned to pay for this gift with, so I had no idea how bad it was going to look. Low and behold, the Lord took my breath away. There was far more left after all of my deductions than I had ever expected.
Please, my friends, do not read this and think I am trying to boost myself up. I repent if this in any way does that. My aim is to show you that in offering my small, unworthy life to God, He has shown Himself more than faithful. He has blessed me to be a blessing. May I prove faithful with all that he blesses me with.
Denae is a vital part of the faith family of theGATHERING and First Euless. In addition to serving as one of theGATHERING's Community Group Leaders, she is actively involved in the discipleship ministry of Kid Venture. She desires that her life be remembered as a disciple-maker of other disciple-makers.