Thursday, March 10, 2011

Getting Dirty in the Muddy Water

In a home group I am in we are reading Radical-Taking Back Your Faith From The American Dream by David Platt. The first four chapters were. . .radical. By the fifth, though, we were getting to the part where we could begin to see the application of the material. The chapter was about Jesus’s relational model and making disciples. The most uncomfortable part for me was the fact that he “got dirty” with those he was discipling. He did what they did and went where they went. It reminded me of a John Eldredge term “we have to get into the muddy water with them”: the concept always gets to me.

I wonder, based on the conversations at home group, if we aren't already engaged in making disciples? From what I am hearing, most of us are engaged in looking for and acting upon opportunities. I'm not saying that it couldn't be deeper, or that we don't let opportunities slip through the cracks, but we are on the right path.

I remember studying Beth Moore's "Believing God". One of the daily activities was being intentional at recognizing God's hand in our lives. Being intentional really helped me see Him better. I wonder if being challenged to write down our acts of obedience or disciple making wouldn't make our group more intentional garnering us more encouragement to share weekly? So often when God presents a challenge to us he lets it be something easy to get out of. . .to sweep under the rug. . .to forget about. If we approached life more intentionally, I wonder if that little bit of accountability would produce more positive outcomes. . .and hence encouraging testimonies of the fruits of obedience.

During this season of lent when some sectors of religion encourage giving something up, I think, instead, I am going to try to be more available to opportunities. . .and to act on them quickly before the opportunity is lost or forgotten. I am going to record the encounter and the outcome to see the result of obedience. I am going to plant seeds and see if I can’t notice a little growth. . .if not in the others. . .than in myself.

She Speaks. . .after fifteen years

Fifteen years ago tomorrow I started what was to be a one-year hiatus from looking for a job in my field . . .and became a thirteen-year journey around the country and the world.

About every six months I would become antsy and question why I using a college degree to load luggage. Every time I would receive an answer that comforted me as to why I was placed at USAirways.

One time, though, I was particularly antsy. I said, “God, you know that I am your stupidest child. If you want me to leave here you are going to have to use billboards. . .in neon.”

Not three days later my co-workers and I were called into a meeting announcing the lay off our entire division. The other three-hundred employees were shocked, hurt and upset. I had to leave the room because a seemingly inappropriate ear to ear smile had plastered itself across my face. I had my answer, big as a billboard and bright as neon. . .I was free to write.

That was the easy part. Entering the new field of writing was not so easy. Slowly, though, I began to follow His leading and His articles were published.

As a writer I often feel alone. So when the possibility of a scholarship to attend the She Speaks Conference was forwarded to me by a dear friend, I knew that I had to go for it.

She Speaks features tracks for writers, speakers and women’s ministry leaders. I think the charge and encouragement I would receive would be a welcome infusion into my writing. It is also a wonderful opportunity to meet others and obtain expert advice and education to excel in this calling. I need a big dose of energy and inspiration. I pray that this scholarship will help me reconnect with a Big God who calls us to do Big Things for him and gives us the power to accomplish them with and through Him.

As I begin to reflect on my walk with God this Lenten season, I can’t help but think that I could be a whole lot more effective if my walk was a whole lot closer to Him. Knowing I was attending She Speaks and working fully up to that deadline would be a tremendous source of power for me.

Could it be a coincidence the contest deadline marks the fifteenth year of the beginning of my former career. . .I think not.

She Speaks Scholarship Contest 2011