God Loves To Travel In Style And Incognito

What do you know about cars?  For one thing, did you know how inefficient they are?  I had to laugh out loud when I learned that cars take up a huge amount of space on this earth but get driven around mostly empty.  Government statistics have shown that the private car in the United States carries only 1.6 people in them per trip!

Okay, I know what you are thinking…What does the above trivia piece of information about cars have to do with participating in a conversation with God using Scripture?

Well, I’m so glad you asked.

Today, as I was traveling up the highway, heading to the Half Price Book store, to purchase a book by Linda Page entitled Healthy Healing, I decided to turn on my car CD player.  A highly popular gospel tune by Reverend Hezekiah Walker entitled  “Every Praise” blasted out from the speakers and immediately the beat caused me to sway with the rhythm and to pat the steering wheel as though it was a drum as I drove down the street. (Click below, skip the ads and watch the street performance of Mr. Walker.)

Lyrics
Every praise is to our God.
Every word of worship with one accord
Every praise every praise is to our God.
Sing hallelujah to our God…
Upon reaching Half Price Books’ parking lot, I could hardly bring myself to turn off the music.  The testimony in song was such a blessing to my soul.  I finally exited my vehicle and entered Half Price Book Store while still softly humming the melody of the tune.  I found my book, retrieved it from the shelf and approached the checkout line.

A few customers were in line in front of me, so I took this opportunity to turn aside to examine some for sale items on a shelf while at the same time still humming “Every Praise”.  Just then a strange thing happened.  I felt something pressuring against my back.  I turned and to my surprise, I was facing the customer that was ahead of me in the checkout line.  Immediately, I apologized for bumping into her, but she smilingly corrected me and said she purposely leaned back to hear what I was humming because it sounded so soothing and gave her such joy to embrace my happiness in this troubling world.

(WOW!!! I immediately thought, Lord you are doing it again.  Just like last week.  You have opened another door to present Yourself to me and to others and to give me an opportunity to witness.) 

The next thing I knew, we were both giving God praises and thanking Him for his ever presence in our lives, seen and unseen.  (You know He loves to travel incognito.)

NOW, all I want to know from you is this…

What radio station is permanently set on your car radio?  Or what artist’s music CDs do you tote around in your clove compartment for entertainment?  Do you realize that this sanctuary place of yours can become an arsenal of ammunition to prepare you to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ?  Read the verse from 2 Timothy 4:2 (NIV) below:


May I give you a word of advice:  Use the time while you are driving in your (empty) car to think about this:
Scripture Lesson:“Finally my sisters and brothers, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report, if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.”  Philippians 4:8

Click http://www.tgifmasterminds.com every Friday for a new post from the Master’s servant manager…ME!                              

 

GOD SAVED US BY GRACE TO SPREAD THE GOSPEL

Blog-God gave us grace to spread the gospel

Jesus said, “I brought glory to you here on earth by doing everything you told me to.”  John 17:4   Can we, too, recite those words before the Almighty?

PROLOGUE…

Today, I feel good!…doo-dah…doo-dah..doo-dah…doooo!  WHY?  Because God allowed the actions of three young complete strangers to bless me real good.  Big as day!  In all of His glory.  Smiling.  Silently.  Just chillin’.  He said to me, “My child, I know your plans for today and I’ll be with you.”

Okay.  I’m not crazy.  But I did, I did see Jesus…where of I am rejoicing.  Here is how it all played out.

HIS FIRST STILL SMALL VOICE…

This past Wednesday morning I met with my contractors and went shopping for a lot of materials to renovate a rental property I own. Afterwards, I stopped by the Sears Outlet store in my town to examine a refrigerator I had seen advertised on the internet.  The young sales person who assisted me was extremely polite and explained that the refrigerator I was inquiring about was not at her store, but actually located in another city.  However, she was anxious to show me another refrigerator that she thought I would like much better.  And the price was sweeter, too.

As we walked towards the  appliance display area I informed her of my intent to pay cash for the unit.  The sales lady immediately began to exclaim how she wished she could get to the place where she could buy big ticket items for cash, but with her family obligations, her small salary and her daughters college tuition, she did not see herself becoming financially secure for a very long time.

(I immediately thought, Lord, how can I witness to this woman?)

As we continued to walk, I listened to her recite how extended family members, needy friends, poor money habits, job hopping and other money grabbing situations had put her into a mountain of debt with no savings plan in sight.  By this time, we had reached the ‘for sale’ refrigerator with a sign that read ‘take an extra 10% off’.   I immediately made a calculation that if I purchased this model I would save an additional $200.  WOW!!

I was overjoyed and in my enthusiasm, I looked at the sales person and exclaimed; ‘you have blessed my soul today.  The Lord has truly used you in His plans towards me this day.’  The clerk looked stunned and her eyes got big.  “What do you mean?  What did I do?”

“You went an extra mile,” I said to her.  “Just before you returned to the store from your lunch brake, two other sales girls had looked up on their computers the first refrigerator I wanted and told me it was not in stock.  They both dismissed me, and I started to leave the store.  But, just then you darted in the front door and one of the other sales girls called to you to assist me.  The rest is history and you have made a cash sale and the Lord has provided me with a better deal, and I have saved some money.”

“Wait!  You mean, the Lord had something to do with this?” the sales clerk asked.  “Yes, He did,” I said.  “And He used you to perform it.”

“I don’t understand,” was her response.

“Remember, earlier, you were explaining how you are having trouble managing your money?”  Well, I believe the Lord wants to show you that if you trust Him, He can surely help you manage your income and to direct you on how to make better decisions about financial matters.”

“You see, I am a believer and a missionary and trust the Lord in all things,” I told her.  “And for the life of me, I can never beat God giving on my behalf.  He’s awesome. He’s full of surprises and today He used you to bless me.  Further more, I know, if you will allow Him to work in your life, He will do the same for you.”

The Sears sales clerk did not say much to me after that.  But she was softly smiling all the while she was writing up the sale.  As she handed me my receipt, she said, “I’ll definitely  remember what you said.  Thank you for your wisdom and advice.  Have a wonderful day.”

I left the store glorifying the Lord.  My short, silent prayer request was instantly answered.  The Lord had set up an opportunity to bring in another one of His sheep into the fold.  I did not have to preach like Paul or scold or condemn.

All I had was the here and now! All I had to do was show some love and compassion.  All I had to do was to spread the Gospel.  And to let people know that what God has done for others, He will do for them.  The Holy Spirit will take it from there.

HIS SECOND STILL SMALL VOICE…

Just before returning home from my shopping trip I decided to stop and get something to eat.  I chose a fast foods taco restaurant and indulged my self with a drink and 2 crispy supreme beef tacos.  As I looked around the eatery, I observed 2 young African American  men as they conversed in their booth while awaiting their order.  They were engaged in a lively conversation full of laughter and slang expressions and having a great time.

But here is what surprised me.

After they retrieved their food orders from the front counter and had returned to their booth, they both bowed their heads and whispered a long silent prayer.  As I watched, I smiled and thought, God, you are still definitely on the scene.  I appreciate Your presence in my life and in the life of these young men.  Praise and thanksgiving is not dead.

Just before I left the restaurant, I walked over to the young men’s table and asked if I could address them.  I commended them for giving thanks in a public place and asked the Lord to continue to bless them.  They both smiled and returned the blessing.  And one of them exclaimed to me that he was a young deacon in his church.

To God be the glory.  And may we all accept our Devine Assignments while here on earth because all we have is NOW!  Yes, to God be the glory for the things He has done.

And How’s your day been?  😊

Scripture Lesson:   It is God himself who has made us what we are and given us new lives from Christ Jesus’ and long ages ago he planned that we should spend these lives in helping others. Ephesians 2:10

Click http://www.tgifmasterminds.com every Friday for a new post from the Master’s servant manager…ME!

 

 

 

 

 

God Hosted A Luncheon Especially For Me

In the information security industry, professionals have the option of receiving security certifications in a wide array of specialties. These lessons, combined with experience, make for an effective worker and a worthy job candidate.

This week I was reading Pastor Rick Warren’s book entitled The Purpose Driven Life when I received a ‘stay-at-home’ lunch invitation from God.  There were no ifs, ands or buts about it.  My invitation was sent special delivery.

To be honest, at first, I was not aware of what (or WHO) led me to the book, but I was compelled to open and browse through it after reading the sub-title printed on the bottom of the book cover:  “What on Earth Am I Here For?”

So, I opened the book and the page fell on Chapter 12; “Developing Your Friendship With God”.

As I began to read Chapter 12, all I could think of was alphabet soup!  I reference soup because as I have shared with some of my readers, I have been going through a layer of sicknesses that according to the doctors I will be facing for some years to come.  Some home remedies have been suggested that I change my diet and begin consuming lots and lots of soups and salads.

Personally, I was praying and asking the Lord to examine my motives, frame of mind and service to Him.  I was reminding Him of His many promises of contributing comfort and care for His people.  I was seeking a closer walk with Him and His plans for my life.  In other words, I wanted reassurance of our friendship.

God’s response to me was written in the first sentence of Chapter 12:  “(My child,) you are as close to God as you choose to be.” (p. 92)  The Holy Spirit continued to speak and He said; I AM your friend and always will be.  It is up to you to develop your friendship with Me.

THUS BEGAN GOD’S RECIPE FOR OUR LUNCHEON MEAL:  ALPHABET SOUP(*)

(*) And Pastor Warren’s chapter 12 provided our divine recipe.

                        He offers his friendship to the godly.  Proverbs 3:32
A Acceptance Guard against leaving your first love. Phoniness breeds pain
B Bold Ask God to make His request of you plain; take notes
C Confess Tell your Good News story to others. Friends tell friends.
D Deliberate It takes a desire for Him more than anything else
E Energize You must have the energy to pursue
F Frank Don’t forget to mention your faults; be honest when confessing
G Gratitude Be gracious towards others just as He was gracious  and merciful towards you
H Honesty Learn to share your feelings honestly and completely
I Intimate God can handle your boldness and frankness; humility is the key
J Joy Rejoice because you have been freely redeemed
K Kind Do not mistake God’s kindness for weakness.  Stay focused.
L Listen Reframe from being judgmental; evaluate, trust
M Meditating Let your prayer life express your sentiments passionately.
N Negotiate Express any anger or resentment; don’t hold grudges
O Obedience The main characteristic of friendship…keeping the commandments
P Passionate Learn to care about what He cares about
Q Question It’s alright to complain, argue and even challenge…with love
R Release Remember, all things work together for good…desire peace
S Share Expressing your doubts takes you to the next level of intimacy with friends
T Trust Developed over time
U Understanding A true relationship isn’t passive; it is active.  Go, be, do…
V Vivacious Put value on things God values.  Care about others.
W Worship Friends with God does not make you his equal. Worship him not people.
X Exemplary Be an example; imitate Christ; strive for excellence
Y Yearn Obey God not out of duty, but out of love and trust for him
Z Zealous Bitterness is the greatest barrier to friendship…read Psalms…be inspired

I HOPE YOU ENJOYED OUR LUNCH TOGETHER.  TRY THE SOUP…YOU’LL LIKE IT!

Scripture Lesson:  Draw close to God and God will draw close to you.  James 4:8a

Click http://www.tgifmasterminds.com every Friday for a new post from the Master’s servant manager…ME!