Tag Archives: the call of God

Jesus calls a boy with a lunch

Standard

My 11-year old daughter Emma wrote this story for school.  It’s based on the story of Jesus multiplying the loaves and the fishes.  I really liked her point of view and I asked her if I could post it on my blog.  If you like it, leave her a word of encouragement.  She wants to be a writer someday.

I was on my way home with my small lunch.  I only had two small fish and five loaves of bread.  It was enough for my mom and me.  On that day I saw a miracle.

I was walking when I saw a crowd.  I thought it was so big it must have been the whole village!  Then at the corner of my eye I saw some men.  I stared for a while to see what they were talking about .  I slowly walked over to them.  A man looked at me and smiled.  He came over to me.  “Do you have your lunch in there, little boy?”

I quickly responded.  “How did you know?” I asked.

He said in reply, “I know everything, and now may I please look at your two fish and five loaves of bread?”  I was amazed, and he did know everything.  I gave him my basket.  “Thank you Peter,” he said.  “Peter, will you have lunch with my disciples and me?”

I was honored.  Though when we sat down I thought, “This man may be amazing, but he can’t feed his disciples, himself, and me.”  He gave a loaf of bread to one man named Andrew.  Andrew broke the bread and handed some to Philip, but when Andrew looked at his bread it was a whole loaf!  Philip had the same!

The next thing I knew, that one man had feed the whole crowd!  When we finished and the disciples were collecting the extras, I asked the man, “Who are you?”

He smiled and replied, “I am Jesus Christ.  I know what you do at 6:00 a.m., and I know your name.  I know that you are curious, and I love you.”

~The End

As a mom, I thought that was pretty good!  If you feel like it, please leave Emma some encouraging feedback and I’ll let her log on to my blog tonight to read your comments.

It’s just not “Me”

Standard

When we were at the World Missions Summit earlier this month, one of the speakers, Scott Martin, talked about Predisposition vs. Predestination.  One of his illustrations stuck in my mind and this is my version of his story.  Just giving credit where due.

My daughter went to Kindergarten this year.  As a parent, you’re always checking out the other kids at the Open House to see which ones are going to be problems.  Inevitably there is a girl who is already interested in boys.  She’s the girl that was cute and flirty as a baby.  Now she’s the girl who sneaks her mother’s lipgloss before leaving the house in the morning.  She may only be 5, but she’s got boys all around her.  By the time she’s in late elementary school, she’s already had a string of boy friends and a waiting list far into junior high.  That girl was PREDISPOSED to be flirt.  She’s going to be trouble once she get’s into high school and you can see that on the first day of Kindergarten.

Then there’s the boy in the ninja costume at the Kindergarten Open House.  In the nursery as a baby, he was “the biter”.  As a toddler, he would constantly grab toys from other babies and whack them over the head with it.  He is the one who will spend recess time practicing his karate kicks on the weaker children.  If you build a block tower, he will be the one to knock it over.  By elementary school, he is familiar with the Principal’s office, and by junior high, he’s a thug.  That’s the kid that you’re sure is headed for “Juvie” sometime in his 3 year high school career.  You can tell on the first day of Kindergarten that this boy is PREDISPOSED to be a bully.

Each one of us has character traits predisposed, deposited in our DNA.  If you are the parent of the flirty girl or the bully boy, you might try to counter-weigh those in-born traits with some environmental conditioning.  You might succeed to a degree.  But far too often parents are in denial and young people just default to their natural tendencies without trying to do anything different or to fight against their genetics.  It’s far easier, that’s for sure.

I can not tell you how many times I have heard someone excuse the bad behavior of another person by saying, ”Oh, that’s just how they are.  You just have to understand them.”  DNA is powerful, but there has to be an override switch thrown every once and a while.  I have also heard people say, “I could never be a missionary.  I’m just not wired like that.  It’s just not ME.”

What I want to say is, “GOOD!  Cause it’s not supposed to be about YOU!  It’s supposed to be about JESUS.”  Both my husband and I have, in our own ways, kicked against the restraints of our personal make up to become missionaries.  My husband lived in the same house all his life, so moving to a foreign country was not something he was automatically attracted to.  He is a home body.  Plus, he hates public speaking, yet God called him to preach.  It’s taken lots of practice and he’s good at it now, but he doesn’t enjoy it.  He is not PREDISPOSED to being a preacher or missionary.

And I have a quiet, thoughtful personality.  I am stressed out by talking to people.  I need big chunks of alone-time.  So anything related to ministering to people drains me.  Put me behind the scenes and I’m happiest.  I am not PREDISPOSED to being conversational or “putting myself out there” so to speak.  It looks like we were both unlikely candidates to do this job.  So why do we do it?  Because we feel that God asked us to go and do something.

And he’s asking you too.  He’s asking you to do something that is uncomfortable.  He’s asking you to push against your natural tendencies.  He’s asking you to lay aside your disposition, your excuses that “it’s just not ME”.  He’s asking you to make it about HIM.  When you get your eyes off yourself and onto HIM, then your ears will also tune to his voice.  Then you will hear him calling you.  Do you hear him yet?

“The call of God is not a reflection of my nature; my personal desires and temperament are of no consideration. As long as I dwell on my own qualities and traits and think about what I am suited for, I will never hear the call of God.”

~Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest

 

Not Called?

Standard

I thought this quote was just so powerful that I wanted to share it on my blog.  Just think about this:

“Not called,” did you say? Put your ear down to the Bible, and hear Him bid you go and pull sinners out of the fire of sin. Put your ear down to the burdened, agonized heart of humanity, and listen to its pitiful wail for help. Go stand by the gates of hell, and hear the damned entreat you to go bid their brothers and sisters and servants and masters not to come there. And then look Christ in the face, whose mercy you have professed to obey, and tell Him whether you will join the march to publish His mercy to the world.   -William Booth

As we have traveled around raising our funds to be missionaries, I cannot tell you how many times I’ve heard a variation of this comment, “I totally admire the sacrifices you are making to do this, I know I could never do that myself.  Maybe if I had a Calling, but I don’t.”  I think the first part of the sentence is more truthful than the later part.  The real reason more people don’t take soul winning more seriously is that it’s uncomfortable and inconvenient.

May people who claim to be Jesus Followers are like the rich young man who asked Jesus, “I’ve followed all the commandments to the letter, so what ELSE must I do to follow you.”   Then Jesus disappointed him by saying, “Sell everything you have and give it to the poor.  Then come and follow me.”  The rich guy was sorely disappointed because he had a lot of nice things.

God will always push us to our limits to show us the idolatry in our lives.  He pushed Abraham to sacrifice his son Isaac (though he didn’t make him go through with it in the end) to test his fatherly love.  He pushed Joseph out of his family and into slavery, separating him from a doting, spoiling father.  He pushed Saul (Paul) to the ground outside of the city of Damascus, breaking his vicious pride.  He pushed Peter to the point of denying his relationship with Jesus, then brought him around again to “If you love me, then feed my Sheep”.

You want to follow Jesus?  Prepare to be uncomfortable.  But I assure you that any discomfort you feel in you walk with Jesus is nothing compared to the discomfort- no agony- being experienced by those lost souls in Hell.  Kind of puts it all in perspective doesn’t it?  Let Jesus push you to your limits and beyond.  You may be surprised at where you find yourself going once you acknowledge your Call.