Wednesday, July 16, 2008
Once again I find myself reminded of how gracious God is to me far and above what I deserve. I deserve to be "squashed like a bug" (one of Lindsey's favorite sayings) because of my sin, and yet God continues to pour out His blessings upon me and discipline me ever so gently. Our session yesterday on evangelism by John Leonard (a former MTW missionary) was incredible. His whole premise was to be a Pastor to your community and to be up front about it. Now that being up front is not shoving the gospel down others throats but introducing yourself as Hey, I'm Deborah and I am a missionary or he says Hello, I'm John and I am your Pastor. He says our community should be our focused church and to sow the gospel wide. He was a real outside of the box thinker and Steven and I both got more tools for our toolbox! The premise that most touched me was just get into other people's lives and love them. You go as deep as they go and no deeper, always being prepared with the gospel if they ask about it. God has given me the gift of encouragement and so that is one thing I love to do most; love people especially the hurting or oppressed. And he told me yesterday to do just that, leaving the salvation of others up to God! I found myself thinking WOW I can do that! Also his approach takes a lot of pressure off of me to have the right thing to say. The goal is listen, listen and listen some more and ask questions. He even said we should be hearing lots about others lives and when we get home realizing that no one is asking about us and our lives. And he said to pray that God will bring those to us that He has deemed to be his. He mentioned that in his past, he has been focused here or there andGod just dumps a soul into his lap where he wasn't even looking. In other words as we all know, it's not up to us but it's all about God.What an encouragement this was to me and I left that meeting believing I could do this with God's help and much prayer. I wish you could have been there, it was incredible!