Thursday, April 23, 2009

Thursday Thoughts - Challenged

Last night we finished up our G.R.O.W. (Get Renewed On Wednesdays) program at Church. Our most recent Small Group Bible Study concentrated on leadership and what we could do as individuals and as a small group to reach the lost people of this broken world. If you have read my blog before, you know by now that I am an introvert and reaching out to someone, especially a stranger is way outside my comfort zone. But being faithful to God’s will, I am trying to work on this hesitation I have to reaching out. There are several reasons that one does not reach out:
  • Confidence/Courage
  • Knowledge
  • Don’t recognize the lost
  • Not around enough lost people
  • Not feeling a sense of urgency
There may have been more, but I don’t need them. I know that the first two sum it up for me.
First, I lack confidence and courage. I work on this constantly. An event last year, completely influenced me to change the way I interact with those around me. It actually gave me more courage. It was at the beginning of this school year. My niece, Rachel was staying with us for a month. So the house was a little more chaotic then it usually is. We had a horrible wind storm that knocked power out for thousands. We actually went for seven days with out power. But during the first part of this outage, I was frequenting the 7-11 a couple miles from the house for coffee at around 5:30 in the morning. I would arrive at the store to find the same cashier crying at the counter each morning. By the second morning I felt the need to ask what was wrong, and she filled me in on her life. She was pregnant and her boyfriend(the father) was in jail, and her pregnancy had complications. I was  immediately compelled to ask her name and told her I would pray for her and her baby and the baby’s father. She told me  her name, “Tracy”.  Something happened months later that inspired me. Tracy saw me at the store and recognized me and thanked me for praying for her. I was actually surprised that she remembered me. She looked good and was still carrying child. Opportunities may often happen like this, but do we recognize them? In this day an age it seems the norm just to stand by or turn the cheek because of what is going on in out lives. I could have been overwhelmed with the  fact that all our frozen meat in our freezer was going to expire, or the fact that I had no running water to shower with or even flush the toilet. In fact she even asked why are you smiling towards the end of the powerless week. I simply said to her:

“I have hope that things will improve. Things could be a lot worse. I have two healthy kids, a loving wife with a job and a roof over our heads.”

If you are a close friend you may have heard me refer to it as our camping trip in the largest tent in Valencia at the closest camping ground to home. It was camping without having to go anywhere. I have not seen Tracy since, but still include her,  her baby and her baby’s father in my prayers.
I help my father with a project he started at our Church. It is called the Medical Lending Closet. We take donations of medical equipment, clean/fix them and then turn around and lend them to people in the community that need them. I discovered that this is a perfect opportunity to share more of God’s love. When meeting someone at the church to get them a walker or a wheelchair, I always ask for the name of the person that needs the equipment, so I can include them in my prayers. This past week I decided that this opportunity is the perfect one for me to practice what I have been learning in Worship service and our Small Group and ask if I could pray out loud with these people in need of equipment. Let me remind you, this is way outside my comfort zone. Anyways, I did have a chance to do it with someone, but actually chickened out. I blamed it on lack of confidence, but in short it was the devil. I often forget that he can squeak into our lives in some of the smallest ways.
As far point two in why we may not reach out to the lost, Knowledge. With every scripture I read (okay maybe not every scripture, I am a little slow…) and Bible Study I attend, my knowledge of our Savior is growing. I think we don’t need the details to be a witness to the lost. This is where My Story comes in to play. We don’t need beat them over the head with the Bible. Just tell them your story, of why god makes a difference in your life or how you found God.
To wrap this up, because I really need to do dishes and get painting. I really like the way our worship service and small group has challenged us to walk the walk, not just talk the talk. Thanks for visiting and please pray for all of God’s lost people.

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