"For it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure". "Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you." ... Philippians 2:13, Luke 6:38
On Sunday, Naomi and Justin had an early gig for their duo band. Five o'clock pm at a nice Buffalo restaurant.
They invited Tom and me, their aging ol' folks who usually collapse into bed by 7:30. Tom invited two co-workers and Naomi's bff from high school, Kellee--
-- came as did a friend of hers.
We all sat around a table while Naomi and Justin sang and played vintage tunes, like, wow! So awesome. Made us super proud, indeed.
Now, (it seemed like) everyone at the bar and in our large room was drinking, well, not the adorable toddler at the next table nor ol' teetotalers Debra and Tom, but we're used to that. Rather than drink, I always sit there, feel love for everybody and I, shhh, become Secret Prayer Lady.
Really, I sat munching a Basic Burger, covertly praying everybody would drive home safely. That they'd all come to know Jesus, to grow in Him, even the scary-looking dude at the bar who, as I nudged Tom and told him, kept staring at me. Without blinking. 😊
Ha! Even Tom agrees there's a resemblance there.
Yep, the music plays and I pray all sorts of things for the hard-laughers and shouters. For me, that's the fun part. That, and to show support for Naomi and Justin is why this introvert makes the effort for these gigs so not her cup of coffee.
Because of love. Because of obedience to what God asked.
Sometimes, like last night, God clears a path and lets me
Anyway. Often online I'll read comments from Christians who say they're sick of giving and being taken advantage of. Of not being thanked. Of being done with mean relatives/folks who only use them to get what they want.
I love to obey God and give. To give as lavishly as I can simply because that's how God gives. To give and not expect thanks from people because I know full-well the sweetest blessings, 'thanks' if you will, come from God, Himself. No person on this Earth can ever thank me the way He can.
(And also I realize sometimes saying 'no' to others is saying 'yes' to God. Sometimes being obedient to God means allowing others to do for themselves.)
Life changes when you become an obey-er and a giver. When we sign-up at places like Facebook so we can give like crazy to others rather than seeking what's in it for me, me, me. Rather than bailing-out when people show their hurt via crazy-to-us political posts. Truthfully? I stay at Facebook so to help. To allow God to heal and encourage through me if He can. To keep myself available.
If we want to minister in Today's world? We must let God make us strong lest our hurts and offenses make us hide.
And frankly, that's why I've not had a bad day in years. Oh, bad moments, certainly, but an entire bad day, no. How is that even possible when always, especially now with our connections to hundreds of friends via this Net, we can obey God and give, give, give?
How can we have bad days when, after giving freely and without strings, we experience the joy unspeakable which He sends afterward? The joy and love which, God, Himself, is?
The problem is--many bad days adds up to an eventual bad life. A life which could have felt awesome--but didn't.
The unhappiest people I know are those who think and speak, over and over, about what they've lost rather than receiving the comfort only God, Himself, can give--and then spreading that lavishly so to help others.
"Keep singing the song I have placed within your heart. Keep dancing the dance I have placed within your feet. Keep gazing upon the vision I have given you. Keep remembering the words I have spoken to your heart. Continue with these things, for they are not small. They will strengthen, guide, encourage and empower you. For what I have given you is spirit, and it is life, so do not discard it..." ---as shared by Neil Vermillion
On Friday night Tom and I watched the movie, Wonder. Wow. Cried through half of it--it was terrific. 😊 Highly recommended for anyone with a heart.
Good morning Debra! And here I thought I was the only one he did that! I’m a convert prayer warrior too. I see someone walking down the street and I pray. I see a mother scolding her child and I pray. There are so many opportunities if we just keep our eyes open. Yesterday was a bad news day all around. Two people very close to me died within an hour of each other. Another husband and wife are great friends of ours are both terribly sick with the flu. A lady at church fell in the parking lot yesterday morning and broke her leg so badly she has to have surgery today and have four screws put in it. And on and on the day went. It certainly gave me a lot of opportunity to pray. But, the entire day wasn’t bad. We sang praises to God during church. I was able to take food to the couple who are sick. And I had a lovely evening sitting in my recliner and knitting mittens for the school children. God is good. Thanks for sharing with us today you always brighten my day when I see that you posted.
And just to share one more tidbit of information. One of the ladies who died yesterday was an amazingly energetic and wonderful 80-year-old from our church. Three months ago a 30-year-old couldn’t keep up with her, but then she was diagnosed with leukemia. And here we are three months later having to say goodbye. We have a thought she had another 20 years at least. But the most wonderful thing happened about just before she died. She began singing, “ Softly and tenderly Jesus is calling, calling for you and for me. See on the portal he’s waiting and watching, watching for you and for me. Come home, come home, all who are weary come home. Earnestly tenderly Jesus is calling calling for you and for me.”
She had been unconscious for 4 days previously, then just opened her eyes, sang this song, closed her eyes and passed. Oh what a wonderful witness to us all. She will be missed terribly and there will be a hole in our family at church without her, but oh what a wonderful thing to know that she is indeed walking with Jesus right now. He called her and she answered.
Thank you, Debra and Betsy, for being such wonderful encouragers. Life is short--we must take every opportunity to love one another. Blessings and hugs to you ladies!!
Debra I read two perfect posts from you today. I like how you transform into Secret Prayer Lady. I do that too, whenever I see or hear of a person who is standing in the need of prayer. Of course, that is everybody! But especially if I see someone limping or homeless or for no known reason, I send out a prayer. I attend Women's Bible Study at church and we are reading Ephesians now, lot's of prayers by Paul in it.
Oh dear, Betsy! What a February you've had and please know I'm praying things will improve so very soon and that you'll have great peace in the midst of it all. Thanks for sharing the testimony of you friend! Wow.
Pam--thanks so much and yes! Life feels so short and so it becomes more important to share our love for each other. It's really not all that hard, either, though people can make it sound quite complicated these days, right?
Thanks, Ladies! Blessings, Debra
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