Anita and I went to the fair last night. The rain finally stopped, although it was quite humid. We bumped into a lot of people that we knew, and some that knew me, but I didn’t know who they were. I had a chance to pray for a man who was having back surgery next week. God gave us some neat connections.
Anita and I don’t eat fair food for nutrition reasons, but I did cheat and pick up an apple dumpling to take home for breakfast. While standing in the line to order, a lady got in line behind us and spoke very friendly-like. I knew her, but couldn’t remember her name until we got home. She formerly attended New Hope and was very outgoing. She and her husband haven’t attended since about 2008.
She introduced us to her cousin from Kentucky, and identified us as her pastor and wife. Anita and I discussed this later. If I am her pastor, then she must not be attending another church. But she’s not attending here now. What is a pastor if the sheep have run away?
I’m praying our brief contact in the apple dumpling line will bear fruit in her life. What Spirit-led experience have you had at the fair?
People wait all year long for the county fair. Then, when it finally gets here, it rains all week! Kids that want to socialize, play the games and ride the rides either stay home or get soaked. The horse and pony competitions get stuck in the mud. What possible plan could God have for all this rain just as harvest season opens?
Perhaps the rain will drive people into the Industrial Tent where they will pass by the ‘Free Prayer’ booth and God will deal with their hearts. One person walked past and then stopped, looking back at the booth. “Can we pray with you about something?” asked the attendant. “No,” he replied as he walked on, “but I’ll be back.” We can only wonder what was going on in his mind at that point.
Another guy announced himself as an atheist and proceeded to debunk our idea of answered prayer. But he handed his business card to the attendant. I wonder what he thought the prayer booth attendant was going to do with that card?
Continue to pray this week as we see God’s still small voice speak to people where they are.
Tags: evangelism, Holy Spirit, prayer
I stopped by the DeKalb Hospital yesterday to visit a lady who is a patient there. On my way back out to the parking lot I passed a frail, elderly woman by the front entrance. She was breathing with great difficulty and gasping for breath. I slowed to ask her if she was alright.
But then I noticed blue smoke coming out of her nose. She was puffing away at a cigarette. She couldn’t breathe but was sucking that tobacco smoke down into her lungs.
My immediate reaction was to keep on walking. Her problems were of her own making, right? You can’t help someone who doesn’t want the help, right?
The more I processed this situation the more compassion I had on this woman who was bound up by her addiction. After all these years, she didn’t know that she could be free. There might not be enough healing time left for her. While she did what all her friends did, yet it left her in bondage to the habit that was destroying her final years.
Maybe I shouldn’t be so judgmental of her. Maybe God had set me up with an opportunity and I blew it. How do you deal with people like that?
Tags: cigarette, compassion, health, judgmental
How do you handle tough days when one problem introduces another? These days can be discouraging and test our faith. The following account occurred on a company accident form:
When I got to the building I found that the hurricane had knocked off some bricks around the top. So I rigged up a beam with a pulley at the top of the building and hoisted up a couple barrels full of bricks. When I had fixed the damaged area, there were a lot of bricks left over. Then I went to the bottom and began releasing the line. Unfortunately, the barrel of bricks was much heavier than I was – and before I knew what was happening the barrel started coming down, jerking me up.
I decided to hang on since I was too far off the ground by then to jump, and halfway up I met the barrel of bricks coming down fast. I received a hard blow on my shoulder. I then continued to the top, banging my head against the beam and getting my fingers pinched and jammed in the pulley. When the barrel hit the ground hard, it burst its bottom, allowing the bricks to spill out.
I was now heavier than the barrel. So I started down again at high speed. Halfway down I met the barrel coming up fast and received severe injuries to my shins. When I hit the ground, I landed on the pile of spilled bricks, getting several painful cuts and deep bruises. At this point I must have lost my presence of mind, because I let go of my grip on the line. The barrel came down fast – giving me another blow on my head and putting me in the hospital. I respectfully request sick leave.
Tags: pain, trials, trouble
The Rio Puerco River is a wide, shallow river in Arizona. It is peculiar in that is bed is nearly all quick-sand. It can be traveled safely provided you keep moving, but the moment a stop is made the treacherous sands begin to engulf you.
How like the world that is! God never intended that we should stop here and make this our home. Since the “fall” this world is a dangerous place that engulfs us in its lusts and passions. It causes us to sink deeper into its mire.
Christians must remember that this is not our home…we’re only passing through. The more you settle for what this world offers, the more we become submerged in its sands. Keep moving toward God!
Tags: quicksand, sin, trials, trouble
A couple of years ago I officiated at a “green” wedding at the Fort Wayne Botanical Gardens. The couple were both college graduates and were all about getting back to nature, thus an outside wedding at the Gardens. However, Mother Nature didn’t cooperate very well. A heavy downpour began 4 minutes before the wedding was to begin and everyone ran under the reception tent.
Then violent winds kicked up and tornado sirens went off in downtown Fort Wayne. Everyone ran into the building. Then a security guard came in and ordered everyone to the basement, where there was no air conditioning. When the all clear signal came, it was still raining, so we performed the wedding ceremony in the lobby of the Botanical Gardens building. All that chaos made for great memories.
But the positive spin came when all was over and we looked out the window to the east and saw a brilliant rainbow stretching from the sky down to a cross atop the neighboring church steeple. That made it all worthwhile and was like God got one up on Mother Nature. I’ll never forget that wedding.
Tags: nature, rainbow, wedding
Anita and I just got back from a three-day pastor’s conference in Hamilton, Ohio, not far from Cincinatti. It was profound. God is doing some really great things in our fellowship. One thing that was personally exciting for Anita and I is that our son, Adam, was officially ordained Wednesday night.
Another major shift in our Fellowship of churches is that Pastor Paul C. Paino resigned as General Overseer of CMI and Ed Gungor stepped into that role. Noone is secure with changes, but we can’t get fruit without such new growth. I expect to see some exciting things come from our conference.
A recurring theme that keeps coming back to us is the need for discipleship in our churches. We have become so focused on the weekend “show” that Christians don’t see their own responsibility in the Body of Christ. I see changes on the horizon! Go through them with me.