Move the Gospel Challenge Day 2

I am sure some have read the last couple of days blog posts and are beginning to question my sanity or perhaps it is just the same doubts that start to rise up when my mindset begins to contradict the way of the culture or when I begin to try and use the gifts I know He has given me to encourage others.  Either way, I cling to the hope that this world is not my home and the more times I step out my comfort zone and share the good news of the gospel to encourage those around me, it makes me all the more confident that I am NOT normal to this worlds standards…and that is okay with me.

I found myself having to go to the Dollar Store to pick up a couple of things and my mind immediately thought about the index cards…which one did the Lord want me to leave behind? Who would He want me to leave it with? I pulled into a parking spot, but instead of trying to get a closer spot, I strategically began scoping out all the cars and found myself in the middle of the parking lot, with an old ford mustang with a skull on its dashboard and an American flag drooping from the roof to my right and a brand new jeep wrangler to my left.  I kept looking over at the Ford mustang as the skull kept grabbing my attention, but I saw one word in my head…”plain.” “Plain?” I asked to no one and closed my eyes and just prayed for wisdom.  I opened my eyes to see the Jeep backing up and realized that helped narrow it down for me.  I turned to the Ford and through the drivers seat window I saw the plainest light blue van I have ever seen.  This van had no tinted windows, no leather, no roof rack, no power windows, no bling, no nothing, just a plain as they come light blue minivan.  There was something that drew me to the plainness of this van that I cannot describe.  The van looked as if it had it all together and didn’t need anything to make it stand out, except confirmation that all was going to be okay. So, with those thoughts in my mind, I looked around the parking lot made sure it was clear of patrons, grabbed the index card He had chosen for this person and slipped it in between the window. I turned around to see someone glance my way in another car, but then act like they didn’t see me.  I smiled and just went along my business towards the Dollar Store.

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Second day of intentionally encouraging a stranger through His Word, of intentionally seeking wisdom in things I know nothing about, and of intentionally stepping out of my comfort zone and I have to say….why didn’t I start doing this earlier? 🙂

Move the Gospel Challenge Day 1

With a family of six, I am bound to end up at the grocery store, the produce stand, the bank, or a school parking lot, at least once during the day.  Today I brought five index cards with me that I had already prayed over and just asked God’s wisdom on where and to whom I was to leave it with.

I needed to pick up a couple of things for dinner so I pulled into Winn Dixie, parked the car and just watched the parking lot for a moment, looking around at those coming and going and listening to that still small voice.  A couple was putting their groceries in the back of their car, another was grabbing a cart getting her list ready.  I watched an elderly man struggle to get out of his “old faithful” pick-up and truck, leaving his cane behind, wobbled the best he could to get to the nearest cart. “Him…I am His strength in his weakness,” I heard. I had noticed he left down his window on this beautiful, blue skied, fall day in south Florida. As he made his way into the grocery store, I quickly got out of my van, walked over to his truck and placed the index card on his steering wheel, hoping not to draw attention to what I just did. There, I did it. I took a deep breath and made my way into the grocery store to begin my shopping. “That wasn’t so bad,” I thought, “Not as hard as it seemed in my head.”

When I finished up at Winn Dixie, I got in my van and began to pull out of my parking spot when I noticed another beat up old truck parked in the farthest part of the parking lot. “There..head there,” I heard. I pulled up behind the truck and questioned the Lord “Really? I thought I was only doing one a day?” He said “I thought you said ‘in your comings and goings’.”  Okay, you got me there…So, I slowly got out of my van and wedged another one in between the window and drove away.

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As I drove home, my mind stayed with those verses and the people who would come across them….I found myself praying for them and reiterating the verses within my heart.  Yea, this isn’t as bad as I made it out to be 🙂

Move the Gospel Challenge, Accept it if you dare!

Being a missionary, I am always looking of ways to share the good news of the gospel everywhere I go. Honestly, I believe, it isn’t just the missionaries that are called to do this, but any true follower of Jesus Christ. Lately, news of my niece, Taylor Tippett, an airline attendant for American Airlines, who has left encouraging notes taped to the window seats of unexpected passengers for them to find when they board, has stirred my heart to do the same back here on the ground.

Ever since the news of my niece has taken flight, I kept thinking what if believers did this where ever they went, taping scriptures to other car windows as they got out of their cars at the local grocery store or their own mailbox to encourage the postal worker, Christian businesses putting scriptures on their receipts, or encouraging scriptures being placed with tips left for servers? Why not bring my niece’s inspiration to the ground below, moving the gospel in practical, subtle, everyday life situations?

You may not necessarily be called to pick up your family and move half way across the world to share the gospel, but you are called to share, move, or preach the gospel where ever He plants you.  If the gospel has not changed you in a way that has stirred your heart enough to share the simple story of who you once were to who you are now, I am not quite sure you were told the same gospel I was told.  With that being said, I want to challenge you to the “Move the Gospel Challenge.”

In this challenge, I am going to ask you to intentionally share your faith on a daily basis to strangers in the ways listed above, or in any other way the Lord gives you.  It may very well be a note on a window at the grocery store everyday and it may be that very note that changes the direction of someone’s life…you just never know unless you take this challenge.  I very well cannot ask you to take this challenge if I myself aren’t willing to do the same! So, with scriptures written on index cards with an encouraging phrase to go along with it, I am armed and ready to move the gospel!

Each day as I am going, and doing, for the next couple of weeks, I will journal of my intentionality of sharing and moving the gospel in Jensen Beach, Fl. I pray this encourages and challenges those who find it hard to share your faith.  I know it isn’t easy. Getting me to pry my hands from my family, giving up total control, and traveling 6000 miles away to a foreign mission field was terrifying to me as hundreds of thoughts consumed my mind as to how my family would get along in my absence.  It is amazing how one mission trip can change your entire perspective of not just why you are here, but also strengthen your faith in such an incredible way.

So, shall we begin this journey together? Will you be so bold as to approach the throne of grace and ask the Lord what would He have you do locally to share your faith in this manner. Perhaps it might be writing encouraging notes with scripture on an index card, taping it or leaving it for un-expectant strangers or maybe something completely different. All I know is every time I subtly share in this manner, the voice of fear is silenced & I am empowered more and more to share my faith more vocally than before! My prayer throughout this entire challenge for you is found in Philippians 6:19-20 “Also, pray for me; that whenever I open my mouth, words may be given me, that I may fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel in which I am an ambassador in chains.  Pray that I may declare it fearlessly as I should.” Let’s begin fearlessly making known the gospel together!!!!

My first note…praying over it as I seek Him to have discernment on which window to leave it on 🙂

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Memorize scripture?! Ain’t nobody got time for that!!!

I have wrestled writing this long enough, not because I feel I have the ultimate answer & authority in scripture memorization, but because, for one, I think “Why would anyone want to use what God gave me to memorize His Word?” And second, because if memorizing His Word is truly your desire, your life is about to take on a whole different perspective & I wasn’t sure many would want that.

Before I left on a mission trip in July, we were asked to journal. Journaling should be easy for someone like me, but I sat in front of a notepad & just stared with nothing to write….nothing! That usually doesn’t happen, but it did & so I prayed. He answered very quickly, “Not what I have for you, I have something different before this trip.” And before I knew it, He led me to scripture after scripture, passage after passage & put before me a method of how to retain them to memory.

At first, I was skeptical at being able to memorize these scriptures, especially when I was given Romans 3:22-24 & 1 Peter 3:15-16, but then it hit me so heavily on my heart. This really wasn’t about memorization, but a way to the Father’s heart. This wasn’t about being a walking Bible, but my walk with Jesus. This wasn’t about being a know it all, but knowing the One that knows it ALL! Each scripture I came across had the gospel all over it. He was preparing me for this mission trip like none other I had ever been on. Every single scripture He gave me was used in specific circumstances I was placed in during that trip!  I knew then this method of memorization was more for me than those I had the privilege of getting to share or encourage. I also began to realize how crucial of a tool it was to effective evangelism & discipleship!

Four months and 60+ scriptures later, this skeptic is amazed at her old noggin, but even more amazed at the incredible change in the renewing of her mind, the focus she has on scripture when life gets a bit chaotic, & how much her faith has grown in His Word in such a little bit of time! I have even began to realize there is a melodious rhythm to scripture, almost like a song sung by the Rock of Ages to His people, beating in our hearts for us to just get in sync with. They say people live life to the beat of their own drum. I have found the beat I want to live my life to & cannot keep it to myself any longer.

Ready to see life a little differently, through the eyes of His Word? I’m warning you, this is a lifestyle change, not just a “let me memorize a few scriptures to help me through this tough spot & then I’ll be fine.” This is a “life changing, discipleship making, God breathing, kingdom minded” decision! And don’t think once you begin getting His Word in you that life is just gonna be smooth sailing. Let me give you a heads up now, the enemy does not like it when we begin to equip ourselves DAILY with the Word, armoring ourselves against his pitiful schemes & tactics. If you are still reading this, I’m assuming you are serious or are just curious as to this memorization method. Either way, He has drawn you in because He knows how important & powerful knowing His Word & sharing it to this lost generation is.

Without further adieu, here are pictures & directions. Please let me know if you have questions or another way that helps you memorize scripture!

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You can use a recipe box, a baggy, an envelope, whatever works. I cut an index card long enough to stick up a bit to divide my index cards from Daily, Weekly, & Monthly.

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Whenever I stumbled upon a scripture that spoke to me or I kept seeing over & over I would write the address on one side & scripture on the other & put the letter “D” on the upper right hand corner & place behind my daily divider. Everyday I would say that scripture 10 times for 10 days, using tally marks to record my progress. The scripture chosen to memorize should be easy to flow out of your mouth at the end of this step. After those 10 days, that scripture got placed behind my weekly divider.

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The weekly scriptures get spoken 5 times a day for 10 days. By this time, the scripture should be complete rooted in your heart. If you are still having trouble with it, it should go back in the daily divider till it has been taken root better. Thankfully, I have never had to do that.

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I wrote the day of the week on the upper right corner under the daily tallies. I said this verse 5 times for 10 days in case you missed it.

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Once these scriptures get placed in the monthly, I would say these once a day for a year. I would place that tally on the upper left hand corner with the letter of the month.

Well, there you have it! Simple, right? Yet, statistics & studies show His Church is full of biblical illiterate believers….and we wonder why many believers live defeated lives & the gospel is not being shared.

Let me tell you, this “book” that we all take for granted is the most historically accurate, unique in every way, life giving book I have ever read. Hebrews 4:12 correctly states “The Word of God is living & active, sharper than any double edged sword. It penetrates to dividing soul & spirit, joints & marrow. It judges the thoughts & attitudes of the heart.”

I want to encourage you to read His Word, get it rooted in your heart & mind so that it can renew your mind & help you discern your thoughts & attitudes in a way that will glorify God!  Start beating your life to His drum & I promise you when you get off beat, His Word will never fail to get you back on 🙂

#movethegospel

Intentionality VS Idleness

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As I look at this picture of my team member from my last trip to Cape Verde, it is a reminder of the struggle & frustrations I believe I see in many believers….and that struggle & frustration is a world in need of the hope of Jesus yet so few willing to work the fields, a lack of those willing to intentionally share what Jesus has done in their lives, & those who know Christ as their Lord & Savior, but are comfortable sitting in their comfy sideline game chair with a “I’m not called to play that position” mentality while the game rages on.
When will His Bride rise up & do what He has called us to? When the media portrays every last one if us as bigots & homophobes? When there are no more babies to kill and parts to sell?
We haven’t been called to judge the world, but to preach the gospel into all the world (Matthew 24:14), to submit to one another out of reverence for Christ (Ephesians 5:21), to agree with one another so that there are not any divisions among us, perfectly uniting us in mind & thought (1 Corinthians 10:13) & to love people, show grace & mercy just as He loved & showed grace & mercy to us (1 John 4:19, Luke 6:36)!
Church, you have a choice…stay silent, holding His Hope inside, & making sure your chair is all comfy for the next game season, hoping like hell the Coach doesn’t call on you….or you can find your voice, share the hope that lives IN you, get out of that chair & ask the Coach to put you in! We have been silent long enough!
 

Oh, stop your complaining!

The other day I was laying my 3 year old down for a nap and she wasn’t quite in the mood to lay down without complaint.  She mumbled and grumbled, complained and argued, and continue to give me many excuses as to why she felt she didn’t need a nap.  And with every mumble and grumble I calmly gave her a reason why I wanted her to take a nap. To my surprise, after about 30 minutes of the mumbling and grumbling she finally surrendered her will and laid down and said “Okay, mommy, I’ll lay down and take a nap.”

I laid there thinking immediately of my own Christian walk with the Lord and the many times He asked me to do things and I mumbled and grumbled, complained and argued, and continued to give him excuses as to why I think I shouldn’t do it or how I think it should be done.  Each time I complained or gave an excuse, He was still there calmly giving me the reason why I should do what He has asked me to do….it mostly revolved around just plain and simple obedience, but it also had a lot to do with surrendering my own will. This whole scenario reminded me of Matthew 21:28 when Jesus spoke of the two sons who their father asked to go and work in the vineyard. The first son first, complained, but did what the father asked him to do.  The second son told the father he would go, but didn’t.  Many of our struggle through this life has much to do with whose will we want to see manifest in our lives…His or ours. We can talk the talk all day long like the son in Matthew 21, but if we don’t surrender to the Father’s will & do what He has asked us to do our talk is meaningless and our lives are nothing but a lie.

What is the Father asking you to do? Share your faith? Forgive someone who has wronged you? Have more of a submissive heart towards your husband? Be more of a godly leader and husband in your home? Whatever it may be, perhaps it is time to stop the grumbling, complaining, and excuses and just be obedient to what He has called you to do 🙂

Philippians 2:13-15 “for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure. Do all things without grumbling or disputing; so that you will prove yourselves to be blameless and innocent, children of God above reproach in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you appear as lights in the world,…”