June 7, 2009
I asked Father to show me what to make for church-in-the-park - and He led me to the recipe for cookies made with oatmeal - but I used granola, because I have lots of it, and need to use it up! And it really works! Excellently! Led by Him to do so, I believe - and raisins, chocolate chips, coconut... healthy and breakfasty! I even asked Him to wake me up at His time - which turned out to be 5 am. I made 12 dozen cookies - it's a big recipe - about 3 icecream buckets full! I got over to the breakfast-in-the-park place at 7 am and only one guy was there at first, but other people kept coming and going, and then another guy came and stayed. Overall, about a dozen people came... but nobody with food or coffee after all, so everyone was happy to eat my cookies! We stayed till 8 am, and ___ came by, so I told him to pray for everyone, which He did (he wanted me to "lead church" but I was, I don't know, not exactly scared, but just didn't ... Should I have been bolder Lord? But I did visit with everyone and be there all that time).... Then I walked around uptown and gave away more cookies, almost a whole bucket full in the end. (And after all, wasn't all that really church!?!?!)
One of the things I read in the Rabbits and Elephants book was to "trust God to provide the resources" (Lk 10:4) and I was thinking about that in relation to God sending me out on the street to spend time with the people there and show them His love... the book says the resources are actually in the harvest: your provision comes from the people you are trying to reach! I thought that was a bit different approach to how church ministry provisioning is usually done! Then I thought: it's like the red jacket that street guy gave me because I didn't have a jacket appropriate for the cool morning air at church-breakfast-in-the-park - and the encouragement they give me... and even fellow-workers, like ___ who came so long ago to our Sunday Soup (church!) and keeps supporting me with encouragement now)... and even the pearl necklace (which I wear everyday along with my simple cross necklace!). To me it has been a necklace of encouragement and confirmation! ha! "a pearl of great price!" I've been receiving all kinds of provisions and resources (from the harvest!) and didn't even realize it. So I was thinking about that, and decided to check the concordance and see what the Word has to say about pearls:
- Job 28:8 the acquisition of wisdom is above pearls (and oh Father, You have been providing me with so much wisdom lately ... and so much of it has come not just from Your word and such, but from the people I'm supposedly "trying to reach" but who themselves are learning to walk with You, or searching for You - even if they don't always realize that - well, they are actually responding to Your call, eh?!?!... anyway, thank You!)
- Matthew 7:6 Do not give what is holy to dogs, and do not throw your pearls before swine (I've often heard people say to focus on those who are most likely to come to the Lord: and they are often thinking of those who are already to some degree living a "Christian lifestyle" ... which seems to mean that they are educated, dress reasonably nicely, hold down a job, act respectfully in a church-ish kind of way... like so they'd "fit in" I guess .... BUT this book says [and Jesus set the example!] that it is those who are really "in need of a physician" who are the "fields ripe to harvest" ... And yet, our society (and sadly, too often ourselves and our churches) too often tend to think of them negatively as dogs or swine, and that it is a waste of effort to bother giving the "pearls" of the gospel (or whatever) to people "who are too lazy to work/ people who are bums/ people who are druggies/ ..."). Who do you think Jesus was referring to when he made this statement? Hmmmm?
- Matthew 13:45 The Kingdom of heaven is like a merchant seeking fine pearls, 46. and upon finding one pearl of great value, he went and sold all that he had and bought it. So, Jesus is that pure and precious pearl - and it is worth giving up everything we have - dying to ourselves - to gain Him: and He is the gateway, the single great pearl (Rev 21:21). Well, I was more or less wearing the pearl necklace to show appreciation to the guy who gave it to me... but now I see that it is also a gift from Father, a reminder that whatever happens in all of this, it is all about Jesus - who is our Wisdom, our gate, our pearl of great price... I am going to keep wearing it to remind myself to give Him the glory! (and it's a story to share, too! It's a great way to share the Good News, the gospel!) Yes! Thank You Father!
... later... hubby and I went out for a drive. I asked him if he'd been praying about our possible move to the island, and he said, Yes. I told him, "Me too. Did God tell you anything?" He said, No. So I said maybe we need to pray together - where 2 or 3 are gathered in His Name... and he never said a word. Papa? Over and over through the years, I've thought You were doing something (like thinking You are moving us to the island)... and then always... some kind of "block" happens.... Papa, I've been loving what You've been showing me... but Papa, I'm so afraid nothing will come of it... why does this seem to keep happening?