Every January, my school this week of three nightly services and two morning services (normally we have one of each). This years' speakers were not my favorite, and I contemplated not going. I finally decided I'd go not because I like the messenger but because I love the One sending the message.
Well, I got lots of messages.
- God calls us to practice and teach. (Not just teach).
- In Matthew 7, Jesus basically says, "You're a dork."
- "Let your yeses be yes and your nos be no. And let your actions agree.
- We're not free because we have a hard time freeing ourselves from our past, people's expectations, and and our perceptions.
For tonight's service, a friend and I were asked to quote some scriptures and handed a page to memorize. Just the two of us. An entire page of Bible verses. In front of a plethora of people. Memorized. Microphone. The whole schebang.
Remember the little 5th grade girl who could hardly be heard in the first row of the stage much less the back? Yeah, she's gone. My friend and I were told that we wouldn't really need a microphone, but they wanted us to have one anyway. We both stood at least an arm's width away from the mic, so I don't even know how much of us it picked up.
Well, we got through it, and I only stumbled over one word. I couldn't properly pronounce the word "awesome" because my mouth wasn't working properly. That's it. The rest of it was there. Nice and slowly, too! But I can't take credit for any of it. There were times up on that stage where I had no idea what the next line was, but it came out.
Before the service, we prayed (like eight times). I prayed that God would be seen tonight tonight. I said if people saw David or Katie or Tara or Nathaniel or Matt then we'd failed. We'd all failed. It's not the messengers that need to be seen. It's the One sending the message. (That was my personal theme for this week). Well, when I finished I sat back down in the same seat I've sat in for the last three nights (the company has just changed over time).
"I had no idea I was sitting with a star," Sarah said. I smiled politely but the inside of me broke. That was exactly the opposite of what I'd prayed for.
God and I had a little discussion. I'm sure it's not the last time we'll have to have this chat. Truth be told, the only thing I did tonight is get my lazy butt out of the chair and let Him use me. It was terrifying, but it was so worth it.
I was talking to Sarah again afterwards and she said she was going to go fellowship. I told her I was leaving before fellowshipping (SHOCKER! That's something my church does well!) because I was didn't want to hear people tell me I did a good job. In all actuality, it was God who did a great job! (And I felt really corny saying that).
I'm not one to pull the "Statue of Liberty" or even a "Fork Lift"... I grew up in a church where we were lucky if we got more than the praise team clapping. There are probably three songs where my hands will go in the air. Our last song tonight was one of those. What better way to end a fantastic week but by singing:
with arms high and heart abandoned.
In awe, of the One who gave it all.
my soul, Lord, to You surrendered
all i am is Yours.
God is good,
"Ascribe to the Lord the glory do to His name. Bring an offering and come before Him. Worship the Lord in the splendor of His holiness."