I have not been following through with blogging once a week and for that I apologize. I need to get back at it because there really is lots to be blogging about, just so little time to do it. Lord, please help me to blog more often about how wonderful you are and the wonderful things you are doing. :)
This past week was my first week back to school from Christmas break and it has been very nice getting into the routine again. I recently changed my major in october, from elementary education to development and family studies. Now, that I am in new classes I am with a whole new group of people and I am enjoying the opportunities to build new relationships and sharing the love and truth of Jesus with new people in my classes!
This week, I have been reading through the book of Acts. I have never read through the whole book all together (i am not quite sure why-probably laziness) and I am just soaking up all of God's glory and power through this book. Reading Acts has given me a new perspective of God's word all together...I am in awe that I am freely able to read about God's mercy and power through His apostles (the Holy Spirit alive in them) in general. I mean, it's GREAT stuff-God's showing us what He promised He will do through us if we surrender our lives to Him...not anything to skim through but to be changed by! I'm learning just how special God's word is to me and how personal it is...a book I used to let sit and collect dust that I would pick up every now and again-is now radically changing my perspective and my heart.
Well, Thursday night I was reading through a couple chapters and Acts 8:26-40 specifically stood out to me. This particular story was not one of the most profound stories from Acts(compared to the others in that book) but really gripped my heart. This was when the Lord told Philip to go "south to the road that goes down from Jerusalem to Garza." and once Philip left and followed God's command the Lord led him to a man on a chariot who happened to be reading through Isaiah and was not understanding. So Philip helped guide him through scripture and told Him the gospel, in which the man was changed by and Philip baptized him right then and there. After reading that story, I immediately prayed; "Lord, please open my eyes to those who specifically need help understanding your word and your gospel...those who are hungry and searching but need that guidance, because I pass over them every day."
The next day, my wonderful friend Kaitlyn and I went running through a neighborhood by Mckenna Park. We were finishing up our run and were making our way to our cars parked in the park parking lot (wow, there was a lot of "park" in that sentence haha). As, we were coming to a stop a man standing by the bball courts started making his way towards us talking. He approached us telling us he was new in town and wanted to know places that people hung out and where there was community. The first thing that came out of my mouth was "do you know where First Baptist Church Denton was?" he proceeded to ask me for directions and continued to tell us that he does not see many people genuinely pursing people to help "save their souls." I started to sense a desperation in him and a hunger for something more that he was not finding rest in. I started to immediately recognize Christ and thanking Him for this special meeting-allowing us to meet his man. I told the guy that Kaitlyn and I wanted to help him find community because we know how tough it can be to be in a new place and not know many people or find that place to be plugged in and serve together. I guess when he heard me say "community" he thought I said "communion" and got very excited! He said "Oh, I LOVE communion...I mean when I hear communion I run to the church...I want to break that bread and drink that wine...yes!" He continued to talk about being with brothers and sisters and helping others to baptism and taking classes. I chimed in and told him that communion and baptism were great symbols and examples of what Christ did for us and new life in him but a lot of times we overlook guiding people to an intimate relationship with Jesus Christ and living a life that glorifies HIS name and goodness. Simply being baptized and taking communion or sitting in a class are not enough. He told us that his name is Michael and we asked if there was a way to reach him, so he gave us his brother's (Mark) phone number. We asked him how we could be praying for him and he told us that he has been lonely for his whole life and does not have a wife at 33 years old. He said that may not be God's plan for him and he is just lonely and needs some one to "help lead him out of the darkness and into the light." Kaitlyn and I then asked if we could pray over him right there and he said yes and we prayed together. Afterwards he said he felt relieved and had a big smile on his face.
PRAISE JESUS for answered prayers and for allowing us to meet sweet Michael and share God's love and truth with him. I was so in awe of God and his faithfulness and catching a glimpse of those who are so hungry for something greater and me knowing who that someone greater is. I pray that we are all able to recognize the power of the Holy Spirit and all that He is able to do through us-all to bring glory to the name of Jesus Christ. I pray that we have humbled hearts and open eyes to see all of those around us and intentionally seek them-loving on them and sharing God's word. God is so good ALL the time, He is so faithful and loving. :)
Please pray for Michael and Mark-for the opportunity to connect with them again and help guide them into community and a relationship with a loving heavenly Father. I hope ya'll have a wonderful and blessed week!!