Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Merely a Vessel

This is an account of my efforts to put into action what I learn while reading the Bible, an account of my journey to become closer to God.

Last night I was reading Acts and came to the part where it became clear salvation was for all people, not just the Israelites. I had been wondering when the Gentiles came into favor with God and now I know. I also read a Proverbs that said a head of gray hair is a crown of splendor signifying a righteous life. That was good news too!

I’m sure it drives Jill crazy when I blurt out “Listen to this…” and then read out loud a Bible passage from my daily devotional, but the way I see it, there’s nothing Dr. Phil or the Dog Whisper could be saying that is more important than what the Lord has had to say.

I attended a monthly Stephen Ministry supervision meeting last night and was blessed to listen to a speaker talk about Christian caregiving. He made a few interesting statements I want to share:

You are a temporary assistant to the work of the Lord.

In other words, nothing we do should bring glory to ourselves, but all glory should go to the Lord where it properly belongs.

Whatever happens to your care receiver is because the Lord was already at work in that person’s life.

Very similar to the one above, but also a reminder to us that there is always a Big Plan and we are merely components of that plan. No one is lucky or fortunate that we crossed their paths, rather we are each blessed that God meant for it to happen that way.

In God’s economy, nothing is wasted.

Yes, even awful experiences, disappointment, failures and pain and suffering are purposeful events. Ask yourself, if life were perfect here on Earth, what would be the incentive to live righteously in order to enter Heaven? God uses pain and tears to remind us that we need him, and when finally with Him there will be no more pain.

Your walk with God is a community event.

This reminds me of a sermon I heard a few years ago that although salvation may be a personal event, it was never meant to be a private event. What glory is given to God if your reaction to receiving salvation is to hide that fact? In all we do as Believers, it should be clear that we do it with joy and thankfulness to the Lord.

I’ve been asked to attend a week long training to become a Leader in our church’s Stephen Ministry. I’m thinking about it and ask for your prayers to help me decide what to do. I don’t mind the hourly commitment it will require of me, but being away from home for a week to attend the training is a bit distressing. In the last four years I haven’t been away from Jill for more than a single night at a time.

Cameron and I are spending the afternoon at the water park tomorrow. Man, twelve year old boys are in perpetual motion. In contrast, my joints are showing their age!

World Relief update – I think I’m going to be able to orchestrate an introduction between two churches with a heart for helping the poor find affordable housing, an apartment complex that caters to low income families, and World Relief’s newly arriving refugee families. If this works out, it would mean that I and others in our area who want to help resettle refugees will be able to do so.

I realize just now I said “I’m going to be able to….” My error. God is able to; I am merely a vessel.

Well, I guess that’s enough for today. Thanks so much for visiting my blog, and please pray for me and my family. Now go out and hug somebody!

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