Thursday, September 28, 2006

Living Radically For God

I’m sensing a thread from God today. He’s really laid social justice on my heart lately and I keep bumping into story after story about serving the poor and living radically for Jesus.

This morning I mentioned that to one of my accountability partners and he said, “You know…you don’t need to necessarily associate social justice with the poor. What about the work you are doing in your workplace?”

I will admit that I am incredibly blessed to be able to practice my faith so freely in the workplace. It’s actually encouraged here so I belong to a men’s Bible study, organize a monthly get together with other members of my church, and pray weekly with a group of prayer warriors over lunch. Today the epiphany hit me while I was praying.

Last week, I attended the Carnival of Creativity, primarily because Mitch Matthews, inventor of the game “Q”, was speaking about, well…creativity. One thing that was mentioned that really resonated with me was this quote:

The opposite of creativity is criticism, skepticism and cynicism.

I will admit that at times we have that dark cloud following us around here at work. And I am responsible for dispelling that spirit, to preach the Gospel always and at times use words.

Sometimes you need to be careful about what you pray for because God will definitely answer your prayers in His own way. Lately it seems like I’ve been muttering, “Help me to live radically for you Jesus.” And He usually responds in ways that take me out of my comfort zone. I normally look back at those times and smile at what He taught me as a result.

During my Principal prayer time today, I was praying for an employee who is considering leaving her husband because of his insecurities and because she’s fallen out of love with him. I was reflecting on this situation when I remembered an incident from this morning’s drive. A driver next to me was enveloped with his hand held device and managed to change lanes unknowingly. Granted, this is during morning rush hour on the interstate…smart, huh?

My immediate thought this morning was to chuckle as God spoke, “When we are encompassed with our daily distractions and lose focus on God, eventually we end up wondering how we wound up in our current situation.”

This anonymous colleague of mine is probably wondering the same thing. And while I was praying on this, God revealed to me something kind of interesting. I heard Him say, “Ask if the husband has any friends. And invite him to the men’s ministry at Hope where he can get connected with God and with other men who love God.”

I guess when I asked God to help me live radically for Him, sometimes it means rolling my sleeves up at work. As I pondered this and reflected upon today's events and the creativity conference, I wrote down these words on my prayer requests...

"I want to make a positive impact on everyone I meet."

Thursday, September 14, 2006

23 Minutes in Hell

My friend Bill gave me a CD this week entitled, "23 Minutes in Hell" which is an incredible account and testimony of Bill Wiese's journey to hell and back. I can't say that I was exactly excited to listen to this CD initially because of my encounters with dark forces in past dreams, some as recent as a few months ago. So it was somewhat intimidating for me to pop the message into the CD player of my car on the way into work the other day.

What was interesting was that from the very beginning I was very emotional about his account and became very teary eyed. I suppose it's from a number of reasons including my saddness for the world that is lost and doesn't know Jesus...that's never truly walked with Him...that rebukes Him and insults Him at the drop of a hat. Perhaps it was because of my fear and my empathy for the story unfolding before my ears.

It's scared me into reality. I questioned my belief in God and my calling to be here. Surely this is more I must do. Surely I gotta tell everyone I encounter about Jesus. Surely this is a time to turn away from my fear of man and turn towards God in fear and awesome reverance of Him. Surely it's time to step it up at home and lead a family to the cross of Jesus where they will meet a maker, a creator, a savior who loves them for who they are...who loves them where they are at. I simply cannot let my family experience the very thought of going to a world of darkness and death, and I have finally understood the calling of God to love and serve my family like Jesus loves and serves the church.

Jesus, pour out the revelation of yourself on myself and my family. Bring your living word to life. Breathe the breath of life into our lungs, into our inner being, into our souls. I choose you Jesus. I choose to follow you. I choose to serve you. I choose to love you.

Have mercy on me a sinner.