I really don’t know why I’m so surprised. Lately I’ve been asking God to really soften my heart; send revival to ME first, then our family, church, area, country. If you haven’t heard, the Christian radio broadcasters have been calling for a concentrated 40 days of prayer for revival. I’d been kind of putzing with that prayer myself for the last few months, so hopped on to their website for Scripture, inspiration, daily emails, etc. Nancy Leigh DeMoss has been doing some excellent podcasts on revival & prayer these days! Family Life Today has had some great ones on prayer as well. So, all that in & of itself has been an answer to my prayers.
Now He’s broadening things…
I heard my little boy getting himself ready this morning (he didn’t know I heard), softly singing his own new song to the Lord, “Jesus! You are holy. I love You. I lo-oo-o-o-ove You! Holy! Holy! You are great. You are good…” Some of you know how he’s been struggling to “get motivated” in the mornings for school. There were tears rolling down his cheeks even yet today as he crawled into the van. But he started his day with a new praise song offering to the Lord. In spite of his sadness at it being a school day. : ] I love it when my children challenge me! It also made me think about the songs we’re teaching him. When I was a kid & wanted to sing to the Lord, (& even now) hymns were usually what came out of my mouth. A lot of the worship & even kids’ songs these days aren’t real singable without a background band or tape. We’ve GOT to give our children songs they can sing alone if we hope to have them do it whenever! (Don’t know if that makes sense to anyone else, but it was something that came to mind & I tried to get it down so I’ll remember.)
My daughter has brought up several times the last few weeks/months her concern for sharing Jesus with others & the fact she’s never gotten to lead anyone to the Lord yet. This is really bothering her. She knows it’s a great thing & she doesn’t want to miss out! I keep telling her it’s not really her that does it, but the Holy Spirit drawing people to Himself. We just need to be ready to tell others about Him when the opportunity comes up, not force the subject in awkwardly. This whole thing was talked about yet again Sunday night with our session on Elisha. We were reviewing last week’s talk on Naaman & the little girl who shared what she knew with him – there’s a man of God in Israel who can heal him. This led to Naaman getting healed, declaring the God of Israel THE God, & taking all that back to Syria for others to hear. Now this week, Elisha prayed his servant would be able to see the great army surrounding & protecting them (2 Kings 6:8-7:20), one of my top five favorite Bible stories. Callie is a bit frustrated with Elisha being able to see while his servant could not. She wants to see those things, too! How cmoe some can see & others can’t? She also wants to tell others like the little girl. She wants to be used by God to do great things. She wants it all spiritually! YOU GO, GIRL!!!! What can I say?? I want it, too! But it’s been a while since I’ve had that zeal. I guess God’s answering her prayer even now by using her to stir me!
We talked about how when we go to the store, the library, etc. we are lights in a dark world at times without even knowing it. When we go out to eat & stop to pray, we have suddenly told everyone around us that we are Christians & they are watching. How does a Christian brother & sister talk to each other? Differently? How does a Christian man & wife treat each other? Any better? Our job is not to really DO anything differently, but to BE AWARE!! And be ready to share if anyone asks. But so many times, I go into town & just click off the list, never really thinking about the crabby librarian who KNOWS I check out Christian music & books for years so she knows I’m a Christian. Shamefully, instead of praying for her & for a chance to reach out to her in her crabbiness, I’ve in stead been stubbornly taking my stuff to the self check out line in an effort to totally avoid her in fear of my giving her a taste of her own crabby medicine. Is that what Jesus would do? Of course not!! Callie, meanwhile, is busily making a bracelet to wear when we go to town to remind us to pray before we go in anywhere. To remember to keep our eyes open for opportunities to share Jesus with those around us. *gulp* I have a sneaking suspicion God’s going to answer that little heart cry. Stand by for further updates.
I am HUMBLED! That God would listen to my sad little prayer for a softer heart. That God would use my own children to challenge me. These little ones whom I so often worry over whether I’m teaching them all they need to know to follow Christ better than I. The ones I wonder if I’m spiritually equipping them to meet whatever crazy satanic things the future throws at them, etc. I guess they’re catching it in SPITE of my sorry self! Thank You, Lord!! He is so good to me! Nancy Leigh DeMoss gave me a nugget to mull on last week: “If your children’s faith depends on how often they see God answer prayer in your home, how strong will their faith be when they become adults?” I know MY faith is pretty linked to all the many times I saw God answer our prayers in my childhood home.
That leads to yet another area I stand amazed at His work. Our church has what’s called a Great Commission Fund where all the churches in the country of our denomination pool their offerings to send missionaries to tough unreached people groups & this fund totally supports them so they can do their mission without having to mess around with coming home to gather finances. October is a time to promote it a bit more than usual & a special offering is taken. Our family usually study a few missionaries that month, do special missions month activities, etc. & then K & I talk about what we want to set aside, then give the kids opportunities to earn that money so they can turn around & give it; so they can feel like they participated & gave of their own efforts, too. Anyway, we mentioned that it’s that time of year again in the van on the way home Sunday, so we thought we should review the year & talk about what we want to give to close out the year, etc. I just got done “looking over the books”. I really hadn’t added up what we’ve given this year, but when I did I was blown away. We have been able to give more this year than ever in spite of the lousy economy, higher prices for things, etc. & our savings is as big as ever! We just can’t out give God!! I shake my head, really not understanding, but thinking back, we haven’t had many outside extra expenses this year. Not to say that when financial storms come, they are punishment or anything, but I just have to praise the Lord on this one. Instead of pouring money into our vans or whatever, we’ve had the joy of giving to our brother & sisters’ needs – thank You, Lord!! It’s so fun! And He has been so good to us!
I write these down as a journal, testament, remembrance for myself, our children, whoever needs to hear it today. Hope you don’t mind my ramblings. I just had to share what God’s doing around here! It’s exciting! And I know He’s only just begun – I’ve got a lot to learn & so much more praying to do!