This past weekend felt like a bust, so when Monday came, I was revved up to get out there and try to meet people.
I started at the dry cleaners. I will say that if I didn’t have a challenge going on, I probably wouldn’t talk much to the person who stands there and gives me my clothes. But this time I started chatting with the young woman as we conducted business, exchanging comments about the weather. I mentioned that I had never seen her before, and she said she often works at one of their other locations. I asked her which location she liked better, and so on.
The good part was, when I invited her to church, she said she was looking for a church in the area! Now I want to find more things that need dry cleaning so we can work on our friendship!
So I could have been done for the day with sharing, but I wanted more. Later in the day I went to Publix for milk and eggs. This was harder. As I wandered the aisles, I kept finding things I wanted to buy. I found a nice little plant for only $2.99 that would go perfectly in the monogrammed glass container someone gave me for Christmas. “Oh, and I need almond butter,” I told myself, going to that aisle and sighing over the poor selection.
Then I shook myself out of my shopping reverie and tried to start conversations. Everyone was on their cell phones as they pushed their carts. Finally there was a sweet looking older woman in the cleaning section. “Oh, I love this sponge thingie,” I said to her as she looked at a dishwashing wand. “Me too,” she said, and we talked for a moment before she moved on. “How much are those bags?” I asked another person in the clearance section. We discussed how we bought the green shopping bags, and then always forgot and left them in the car. But I couldn’t think of what else to say, and didn’t have the courage to bring up church, so I moved on.
After awhile, I felt like I wasn’t getting anywhere, so I went to check out. But even my efforts to share with the clerk were foiled. The manager came over and bagged my groceries and handed them to me. I choked.
I was glad that I had tried. I was also glad that I had spread good cheer, in a sense. The sweet older woman smiled at me a couple of times as we passed one another in the aisles.
Then in the evening I got with my friend Carol for our discipling time. Usually we meet at my house, but we decided to go out and have coffee. We had a great time visiting with the short haired barrista wearing a ball cap. She told us how she used to manage a mice restaurant in town, but they closed, and she actually made pretty good money working full time at the coffee shop. She went with us to the jars of loose teas, and we smelled them, and talked about what our favorite ones were.
We gave her an invitation to church. “Oh, someone else gave me the very same invitation,” She told us. “I remember him telling me I made him the best mocha.”
I laughed. “That would be my husband,” I said. “He loves mochas.”
It was encouraging. I don’t know if the barrista will come, but she was interested. And Carol and I enjoyed the opportunity to share together.
You know, in my last blog, I mentioned how I want to be sharper. It later occurred to me that in order to be more focused, I have to have something to focus towards. Sure, I’m going to feel aimless, unless I am aiming at something!
I need to articulate what specifically my objectives are for in the new year. And I can come up with all kinds of goals, but what is God’s objective for the coming year? It came to me that it’s simple — God wants people to know Him, I mean really KNOW Him.
That’s my objective too. And it helps just to define that. I know more what direction to take.
Mike did a super sermon on Sunday about giving our best to God, not our scraps. It’s not up yet, but check our web site in the future for it. The text was Malachi 3:10 —
“Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the LORD Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it.”
This reminded me of going to Europe and seeing the churches. They were incredible.
Such time and artistic talent went into them. I felt like they reflected what people thought of God — that they should creates something astoundingly beautiful. They didn’t just slap together a building in a few days. They gave their best. They painstakingly constructed a homage to who God is.
Our lives should be the same way. If we just give bits and pieces to God, we’re not showing the world how amazing and holy He is. If we live in an excellent way, we declare that God is excellent.
And the more we know God, the more we see how excellent He is.
To know God is to exalt Him, and magnify Him, to want to bow down before him an abject humility, to want to pour ourselves out for Him. The more we know Him the more we consecrate our lives.
Ken and I have have been listening to Doug Jacoby’s new lessons on Romans. They are so great! In them Doug talks about how in Romans 1:19 it says that anyone can know of God: “For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.”
And then it says in Romans 1:18 that there are many who suppress the truth.
Let us not suppress the truth, but find ways of speaking it, so that we may increase vital knowledge of God. For everyone can recognize that there is a God, but few really know Him. Let us pray to this end.
I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. Eph 1:17
This is what the LORD says: “Let not the wise boast of their wisdom or the strong boast of their strength or the rich boast of their riches, but let the one who boasts boast about this: that they have the understanding to know me, that I am the LORD, who exercises kindness, justice and righteousness on earth, for in these I delight,” declares the LORD. Jer 9:23-24