21 10 2007

    We had a terrific time visiting The Vinyard church this morning.  It was like a vacation- going to a new place, seeing old friends, meeting new people- I had a chance to give a word to a woman that really seemed to move her.  Cool. 
           I also made the mistake of walking by Debbie Davis while she was praying.  She reached out to TOUCH me, and I fell out with a cry right at the pastor’s feet!  They were praying about healing broken and hurting hearts.  Pastor Tom at the Vinyard is such a gentle man.  He and his wife (who I had never met before) sat over me praying for a good five minutes.  They were wonderful, and I really loved what they had to say.  I am no longer suprised when God opens the deepest secrets of my heart to a total stranger, but it is still a wonderfully overwhelming experience. 
        The kids had a great time, too.  They begged to go back again next week.  And, as pleasant an experience as I had, I’ll admit it’s tempting.  Who doesn’t wish vacation would last forever?   It was good to go somewhere new and remember that my brothers and sisters in Christ are not just in my church, but all over the city worshipping, all over the state, all over the nation… even in Pakistan.  The man who gave the sermon was a pastor from Pakistan, and I loved hearing what he had to say.  All except for the part about churches full of people being machine-gunned because they left Islaam.
       When I hear stories of the sacrifices people have made to cling to Christ, it makes me feel like a wimp for asking God to bless me, to give Neal a good job, to make this transition easy, to bring us to a good place…   Lately I have been praying for God to make ME a blessing wherever I go, in whatever circumstances I find myself.  I have always thought that the true secret of life would be the same whether we’re on top of a mountaintop, in prison, or in the middle of the mall.  The one thing I can do sitting, standing, working, or sick in bed is live for God.  I want to live for God.   I want to live for God even if it means being shot by Islaamic terrorists.  Because even if he asks my life of me, it will only be because he gave me my life in the first place, and because he has a greater need than perhaps I can understand.  I want to live to do what he needs from me, to bless the people he brings to me, to love everyone who needs loving, and to give what he asks me to give.
     In giving myself, I am found.  I can’t comprehend the idea of an afterlife.  I know God promises that by dying I will live, but I just can’t imagine it.  I do know, however, that when I live for him here, live the way he wants me to, my happiness overflows and I bring joy wherever I go.
       It’s only when I slip up that I make myself and everyone around me miserable.

       Here’s one of my favorite bits of the bible: “But thanks be to God, who made us his captives and leads us along in Christ’s triumphal procession.  Now wherever we go he uses us to tell others about the Lord and to spread the Good News like a sweet perfume.  Our lives are a fragrance presented by Christ to God.  But this fragrance is perceived differently by those being saved and by those perishing.  To those who are perishing we are a fearful smell of death and doom.  But to those who are being saved we are a life-giving perfume.”  2Corinthians:14-16

There was a lot of perfume at the Vinyard this morning!!!




Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: