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Tuesday, April 15, 2008

YOu sURe it's Not DEep EnoUGh?

this morning on the way to work, I was listening to the Staff's teaching last week by Pastor Paul Scanlon. If you could tell by my post last week, that I truly respect this man. At first, I thought it was his style (based on his English culture that things are BLACK and WHITE-no gray) but the more I listen to his teachings, I truly love the Jesus that comes from his words. When I meet someone, I sense the Jesus in them or I don't. Some people have the loving, merciful, grace-giving Jesus, some people have the righteous angered driven Jesus, and some have the honest, straight from the text, everything taken literally jesus. Gary is very literal when it comes to the Bible. For example, in Genesis, it says there was no death in the garden, some theologists claim that all animals, Adam and Eve were vegetarians. No killing right? Well Gary looks at it like, there was no killing. I tend to be a theory based learner and he is a logical learner. This is why i think i like hearing Paul Scanlon-he's very logical....something that is not very common in the "Christian" world (with the exception of some older writers such as Oswald). When you are logical you have to take out the emotions and feelings. Sometimes that is hard for people like me to take-but being around the logical thinkers grows me greatly!
He talked about this morning about the soul purpose of having a church-reaching the lost. again, being outward focused. As i listened to it, I resorted back to Alex's Blog on being missions minded, even in our everyday life. Paul said he often speaks to congregations about this topic and their responses are, "is that it? nothing deeper?" and I would have to disagree with them, i really started chewing on it, i realized, "man i could do so much more".
Well, before I go into what we can do, I want to share with you what he said in his message about the lost, hurting, and unchurched.
Why are people insecure, antimidated, or even too competitive? It's not because they were born that way. It's because of the context of where they grow. If you live in a house where winning or recieving praise is a result of your own doing then you will be more competitive. If you where questioned your whole life on why you did this while being made fun of for what you did without anyone really showing you your worth, you will tend to be more insecure. Their GROWING was not in that loving, truthful, life-giving context. These are the people that are church shopping. These are the people that leave when their heart's needs are not being met. That needs to be our number one drive when it comes to our everyday life. I think sometimes we forget what it is like to truly be in the world. I really have to think about it- and it's only been 3 1/2 years since i was fully in the world. People are not so loving, there isn't that spiritual covering we have when we are plugged into a life group at church. The unchurched see the world so differently. They see their needs not being met, and someone trying to bring them Jesus in an irrevelant way. You're kid's on drugs? I'll pray for you tonight. WHAT!!! If they don't know you care for them, their need is not being met. That person is not asking for a magic trick, she's asking for love, time, and understanding.
The lost need to GROW in the context of Jesus. We as believers need to be willing and open to always learning. How do we learn? We take chances-let me give you an example....
I've been lazy, basically proving the law of inertia... I haven't made lunches until the last minute, no coffee in the morning, and struggling to do anything besides lay in bed after work. Coming back from Africa has been real hard to get into the swing of America. We have a three day fast this weekend (Friday-Sunday) and I know God wants be to grow even more self-controlled (i'm praying i break my coffee addiction... :) So, i'm driving to work-talking myself out of the fact that I will have a HUGE headache by 10:30 if I don't drink some java....so i lost that battle and stop at the gas station. While I'm paying for the coffee, the clerk is talking about these symptoms she has, dizzy spells, no balance, headaches...and she went to the doctor yesterday in hopes of some meds...her co-worker asked if she "got any drugs for it yet?" My spirit told me to pray for her, invite her to the prayer night friday at church, but i just grabbed my ADDICTION and left...if i was on a mission trip, I would have asked. if i was on a mission trip, I would have asked to pray for her right there. and i didn't.
she was unaware of the God I serve that heals, restores, and completes....
she might have been hurt in the church, thinking it was God hurting her.....
she could have been an attender at another church that didn't tell her this truth...
regardless-my lack of self-control for coffee could have led to something good...
and then i heard...
this fast isn't about you. that doesn't mean pray for the lost. or even pray for that woman.... it means i'm going to turn (what you think are) shortcomings and bring them for good FOR OTHERS....
anyways, needless to say i was totally humbled. being others focused...sounds pretty deep for me!

6 comments:

Gail said...

To be honest, I have struggled with a few of those moments myself lately. You're blog is so right on.
I, too, am really looking forward to this weekend's fast. I don't know that I have any expectations other than for God to work in my heart, to truly FEEL his presence so strong and so thick that i can't help but turn around and ask someone "Can I pray for you right now? Would you join me at church this weekend?"

So glad to do life with you... :)

Alex Tran said...

yeah man, turning shortcomings into strengths. i'm glad god is all about that. ;)

how cool will it be whenever we get to the point where we're rollin' through gas stations and wal-marts taking prayer requests and praying for people on the spot. ;)

Rachael said...

it's going to happen! things don't have to turn into a "ministry" for it to be effective for the kingdom! thanks for challenging me! why is our country so impersonal! we can pull up to someone pumping gas and start a convo!!

sammie said...

How cool is this blog!!!!!! Just listening is a lost art in the United States. Maybe caffiene has something to do with that, I'm not sure but no one is listening, and if they are they have an agenda. I am working on listening because I love them in Christ. Its a burning feeling. A heart with ears.

Rachael said...

i know! it's all about "my voice" and that so overpowers the smaller, needier, weaker voices....that need to be strengthened in GOD! I'm sending you that staff teaching i was writing about. i like to get some messages saved up for you before i send them! Get Paul Scanlon's pod cast, it's great! that's a great point too, listen because you love them...that's right on. check your email

sammie said...

I went to his website and their were some 10.00 teachings. and then I went to celebration's website and they are selling his talk for 5.00. I'm going for the 5.