Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Are You Listening?

I've never been a reader. Ever. My parents used to pay me a penny a page to read as a child. My nephew would have been a millionaire before he turned 18 if my sister and brother-in-law chose that strategy of parenting with him. Perhaps that's why I wasn't a reader, because they were trying to coerce me into reading. I never really wanted to do anything people wanted me to do. I'm a non-conformist I guess.

But my friend April keeps giving me books that I can't seem to put down. It all started with Always Enough by Heidi and Rolland Baker. Next thing I know, I wanted to move to Africa full-time to make an impact in the kingdom of God. Then she gave me a book called Messy Spirituality by Mike Yaconelli. That booked opened my eyes to the church and how I approach worship and Jesus. Then it was Red Moon Rising by Pete Grieg and Dave Roberts. That book's a life changer. Makes me want to help churches start 24/7 prayer furnaces all over the world. Definitely helped me see God in a different light. Now she's got me reading Velvet Elvis by Rob Bell. This book blesses me to no end. I've learned so much and have been challened greatly by this.

Through the process of reading these books, God's laid some interesting things on my heart. He said, "Go and pray. Keep your eyes open for dangerous opportunities." I started to chuckle last week when the older gentleman driving the airport shuttle at one of the local short-term parking lots mentioned that one his co-worker is "one of those religious fellas." He originally had me pegged as "one of the boys" and used a loose tongue with me intitially. But when he went the religious route and asked the question of whether or not God was going to answer the prayers of the hurricane victims, I had to smother him with love. We talked about how God answers prayers and our respective churches in the short 2-minute ride to my airline stop. I thanked him for the ride, "left a tip like Jesus would" (the Normals), and wished God's blessings on him.

It's these "dangerous times" that we need to take advantage of. Father, please continue to provide these opportunities for me.