OK, no one would ever accuse me of liking rap. However…..listen to this song & read the words. It may be my new favorite song. And you can hear Lecrae’s story here.
My friend (youth pastor’s wife & youth leader herself) asked me to co-facilitate a small group with some senior high school girls. I’ve felt a tug to work with high schoolers a few times over the years, but quite honestly, I’ve been afraid to do so. Especially girls….think that’s why God gave me boys! They still kinda scare me, but I know this is a good thing – for me and hopefully for them.
To kick it off, we planned to have dinner together (always a good way to celebrate fellowship, isn’t it?) and for the adults to “tell their story.”
I thought about ahem, The Holy Spirit gave me the idea to make up a “fun” quiz – you know the kind – where the girls would guess which adult this describes: “I was on a dance team for 6 years.” Gee, I wish that one was mine…
In my mind, it was intended to be fun, but nothing is wasted in the Lord’s world, right? When I originally read my friend’s list, I felt a little jealous: “Man, she sounds more interesting than me.” In fact, I was even having trouble REMEMBERING anything about me BC (and by that I mean BEFORE CHILDREN). So I decided I’d do the smart thing – COPY OFF HER!
Interestingly enough, my memories started firing. And even more interesting, I found out that she and I have MANY things in common….which led me to think about topics of conversations to have with the girls.
I know what they’ll probably think. I’m a mom and so old in their minds that I couldn’t POSSIBLY understand and empathize with what they’re going through – what they think, feel, imagine, what they’re hurt by, what they wonder about, what they have doubts about, what they’re scared about. I’m sure they can’t believe it, BUT I can guarantee that THEY and I have more in common than they can imagine.
I would also bet that I’m NOT the person they think I am. Trust me, I’m not so smooth that everyone thinks I have it all together, but I admit I do wear my I’m-Fine-I’ve-Got-Things-Under-Control Mask most of the time. Don’t you, too? At least now, after the quiz, the girls know that:
- I’m a klutz.
- I got into a real fight (physical, not an argument) once.
- I can raise one eyebrow.
- I’m shy and don’t have much self confidence.
- I once spewed green peas all over the dining table when my mom made me eat them.
- I climbed inside the Statue of Liberty up to her crown.
- I’m not the one who said all the athletic things…..
I am reminded of how Paul told us in 1st Cor 9:19-23 that he became “all things to all people.”
And I’m reminded that people I come into contact with – including those that I think can’t POSSIBLY have anything in common with ME – are beloved children of the Almighty….who deserve to hear the Good News as much as I do.
I’m also reminded of ONE of the original reasons for this blog – the need to be authentic, open and even vulnerable to others.
So I pray that I will be as Paul – “I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some.”
So do you.
We all know people who are dying.
This past Sunday before the worship team prayed for the service, our pastor said (badly paraphrased) “Let’s pray for the people we need to reach. They are all dying, you know.”
That hit me like a ton of bricks. I tried to pray out loud, but I was crying too much. The word “undone” keeps popping up in my world lately, and it describes that moment perfectly. I was UNDONE.
It keeps resonating in my head, in my heart. THEY’RE DYING. They’re dying, and I have the Medicine that could save their lives! Why am I withholding it from them, Jesus? WHY?
I have all kinds of excuses:
- I’m not good at that. (What? Talking? You certainly do enough of it. I think you can handle it.)
- People won’t listen to me. (You should be used to that. You have kids. My Children don’t always listen to Me either, but that doesn’t mean I stop trying to talk to them, does it?)
- I’ll show You by the way I live. (Really, Chrystal?…Oh yeah, sorry, Lord. I blow it a lot, don’t I?…I always forgive you.)
- I can’t say the things I want to say very well.(My friend Moses said that, too. I spoke for him. Why do you doubt I will speak for you?)
- I won’t know how to answer their questions.(I gave you an Instruction Manual.)
- I’m scared.(My child, how many Do Not Fear’s and I AM With You’s do I need to give you?)
- What will people think of me? (I was despised and forsaken of men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. But I did this because I love you. Can’t you love Me enough to risk someone’s negative opinion of you?)
My child, may I point out something to you? What word do you keep seeing in those excuses?
I see one of the smallest words in the English language – “I” – small and weak in every way. And that’s the crux. It’s all about me. Please forgive me, Jesus. I don’t want it to be about me any longer.
Listen here when Penn Jillette, an atheist who says he KNOWS there is no God, talks about a Christian man who came up to him after a show. “How much do you have to hate somebody to believe that everlasting life is possible & not tell them that? If I believe, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that a truck was going to hit you & you didn’t believe it, there’s a certain point where I tackle you….and this is more important than that.”
That video totally makes me feel like such a loser.
Jesus, please open my eyes and heart to those who are dying. Keep that phrase THEY ARE DYING as powerful as it was the first time I heard it. Give me whatever it is that I need to tell them Your Good News. Amen.
I see it written in black ink in my journal entry dated February 12, 2007 – nearly 5 years ago to the day! The questions that I asked “Father, Abba, Jesus, Lover of my Soul, Spirit, Guider of my Life” answered.
It was basically a love letter to me because I had pondered an age-old question: “Do you love me? Am I loveable?”
Some of it’s too personal to share here, just like all good love letters are. But the good news is HE LOVES ME! He “thinks I’m CUUUTE!” (Credit given to Ruldoph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.)
I had also asked “Why do I have such a lack of confidence? Why am I so full of self-doubt? Why do I feel that I am not good enough?”
He then told me “Be confident in what the I AM gave you – all aspects of you.” Then He proceeded to list some of the qualities He had given me including “….your heart, your sincerity, your tears, your thought processes, and all those things you try to hide & dismiss as nothing, as less than perfect, as unimportant, trivial or not good enough…I made you the way you are for a reason. You are perfect, Chrystal, because I am perfect. Do not let the enemy’s lies make you believe or respond differently.”
Wait for it….wait…..”BE (LIVE) WHO I MADE YOU TO BE, AND I WILL DO THE REST.”
He started me on this journey to BE a long time ago -way before 2/12/07. Just like yours, my journey began when I was born and continues until I’m Home.
It all happens DURING THE DASH BETWEEN THE YEARS. (click on the link)
I want to live in such a way that my dash has meaning. That people wll have more to say about me than she was nice. I want the boldness & vision that can only come from the One Who Created me, the One Who Made me the way I am for a reason. I published Disturb Us, Lord by Sir Francis Drake yesterday.
Dare I pray that?
“…being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” Phil 1:6
Disturb Us, Lord
by Sir Francis Drake
Disturb us, Lord, when
With the abundance of things we possess
We have lost our thirst
For the waters of life;
Having fallen in love with life,
We have ceased to dream of eternity
And in our efforts to build a new earth,
We have allowed our vision
Of the new Heaven to dim.
We ask you to push back
The horizons of our hopes;
And to push back the future
In strength, courage, hope, and love.
This we ask in the name of our Captain,
Who is Jesus Christ.
Thank you, Pastor Bob from Oak Hills Covenant Church!