Saturday, February 19, 2011
Trying To Follow
It's not even Sunday yet, and I feel like the last 3 days have really taught me more about the way God is working all around us. Yogi Berra, that master of the malapropism once said "You can see a lot just by looking" and I think he was right. Let me try to explain what I mean.
Wednesday - Pam Roberts called me mid morning and asked what we were having for supper at church . Since I put on the chef's hat each week except for potluck night, I told her spaghetti, but added "I haven't gotten the groceries yet." She then reminded me about the people in need she had seen in two locations within Valparaiso on her scouting trip with the "Supper on Saturdays" last weekend. "Could we fix enough to take to them too?"
"Sure." So I got busy and Bunny and I went to Publix to buy the ingredients. I had never cooked that much of anything before, so I was unsure about how much to buy, and nervous about how much it was going to cost. Then I remembered the grant the local Rotary Club had given us to help with our neighborhood meal outreach. Still, it was going to be a lot of money. So I gather all the items and head to the checkout. The cashier scans it all and the total was $35.74. That's what it normally is. But we were feeding 30 more people.
Loaves and fishes. Give what you have and let God multiply it.
Last night I attended a men's conference in Chipley with John and Ian Anderson. Johnny Hunt, former president of the Southern Baptist Convention was the speaker and he was great, but you know what I loved seeing? All those men ready to give their allegiance and hearts to God, singing, praying, and studying God's Word. Johnny Hunt told us of a recent Sunday at their church where he stopped during a message about 15 minutes in and asked his 4500 member congregation "Who has lost a job, a home, a business? Who is in need of help?" Over 200 people stood. Johnny called the congregation into a time of prayer for them but as he did, people came forward and laid checks on the altar at the from of the church. The prayer over, Pastor Hunt saw the checks and moved by the Holy Spirit said, let's take up an offering. If you want to give money, do that. If you lawyers, CPAs, financial managers, physicians, dentists etc. want to give of your talents to help these families, give that, if you have rental property, spare cars - whatever you feel God wants you to do - you do. The result was that 241 families were helped with a total given for the fund of $400,000.
If God has blessed you, He has blessed you to be a blessing.
Then today Frank, Diane, and Michael Weech, along with me and Bunny - participated in the "Supper on Saturday" ministry. There are eleven churches involved in this ministry coordinated by FUMC Niceville. Our group delivered 157 meals to locations and individuals all over Valparaiso and a little bit of Niceville. We met a lot of new people and saw some we recognized from the past. It was hard work and I'm tired. But it's a GOOD TIRED.
If you've done it for the least of these, My people, you've done it for Me.
The people of New Hope, including their pastor and his family, are trying to follow the will of God as we understand it for our church. Our past successes are just that - past. We can thank God for the honor of seeing Him work through us, but we cannot sit around talking about "the good old days." God is up to something friends. He's bringing people and churches to the realization that we have to live in the constant mindset of a missionary "whatever it takes." We used to cheer those folks when they came back from the "mission field" to tell us about the miracles they had seen. It's still awesome to hear what God is doing "over there."
Well, I'm here to tell you that whatever God has ever done at any time, He can do now. Whatever He has ever done through anyone, He can do through us. And whatever He has done anywhere - HE CAN DO RIGHT HERE.
I can say that, because I have seen that in just the last three days. Can't wait to see what's next.