This is Your Mission – Should You Choose to Accept it . . .

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On the corner beneath a single street lamp, dimmed by the hazy cold of a winter’s night,the exchange was finally made.  My eyes searching; her eyes were downcast.  Tears glistened on the corners of her eyes as I pressed the small envelope in her hand.   Still she was cautious.

“I want you to know I won’t mistreat this but I will use it wisely.”  Her voice trailed.

Tonight I left the engine running.  I wanted to be conspicuous.  I waited.   Then waited some more.  At times, exercising patience is just part of the job.

Another white truck entered the nearly-empty parking lot.  My growling stomach reminded me that I had left in the middle of making dinner.  One consolation, though, was that every light had turned green, just for me,  as I drove.  I made it to the next town in record time!

Could that be my contact?  A quick flash of my lights should do it! 

Nothing.  I shot a text to my contact.  She sent a text back.  It WAS her.

I got out and waved.  A truck door opened and a woman with long dark hair emerged.  The freezing weather made me shiver, but she had on a sleeveless shirt.  I wondered where her coat was, but I knew better than to ask.  

~~                                                ~~                                                  ~~

It catches my attention.  It won’t leave my thoughts!  Like a short commercial that loops round-and-round in my mind, something begins to take shape.

Sometimes certain things weigh on me so strongly, that I know without a doubt that God is alerting me to an assignment, a “mission” if you will.

Usually it happens when I am totally busy, engrossed in another task, or casually reading through e-mail or even Facebook.  The alert might comer through a brief introduction, or even a wrong number calling my dental assisting school.

God’s not too picky who He uses.  A merciful attitude and open, willing heart are pretty much all the requirements necessary.  Oh yes, and a willingness to be inconvenienced!  

Inconvenience is not a condition acceptable to most people.  It’s got to be convenient or they won’t sign on!

Sometimes these “missions” are totally “undercover.  In fact, most of the time, they are undercover. 

Not tonight however.  

I was meeting her because of one little line in the newsfeed of Freecycle.

Her only request had been a “pair of used boots for her 14 year old daughter” whose boots had just fallen apart and she couldn’t afford to replace them.

I watched the news feed on and off all day.  Usually people on Freecycle are very prompt but no one, I say no one, responded to hers. I felt bad.

That’s when I kept getting the feeling to respond.  I knew it would take a few exchanges before she might trust the communication. And so it was.

When I offered to buy her teen some boots, she e-mailed back that she couldn’t let me do that.  I probed a little and she admitted that she had a hard time receiving things from people. 

Whereupon, I told her it wasn’t from me, but God wanted her teen to have a pair of shoes that would be totally her own and fit her own foot pattern.

My time as a third grade foster-child gave me a great appreciation for shoes that fit.  Prior to that time my feet were stuffed into anything that looked like it might do.  The discomfort and damage I endured can hardly be expressed.   As I shared that with her, she began to open up.

We met at the local CVS to make the exchange.  We swapped the money I brought and the clothes I had collected for her.

She volunteered that her husband had contracted colon cancer over 4 years ago.  He was an RN and was getting his Masters in Theology.  She was the CEO of a big company.  Life was good, and they had the big house with lots of other creature comforts. 

As he become more ill, quitting her job in order to care for him seemed the only option.  Soon his kidneys failed and dialysis every other day became routine.  Her husband’s work cut him loose just as his insurance cancelled his coverage on a technicality. 

One amputation was followed by another.   His body just wasn’t healing.  Finally the heart gave out.  Their world collapsed!  He was only 43 years old

Over the four years that the husband had been ill, they slowly lost everything. She and her daughter were now living in a one-bedroom apartment, scraping for an existence. .  Additionally, they were helping to care for the woman’s mother. 

She mentioned something fondly about her dad, so I asked if he was still with them.  I felt horrible as she explained.  Her father had also become very ill, but decided to take care of things himself.  He took his own life and left her grieving mother in financial straights.

I had put my arm through her arm to hold her as she staggered under the constraint of this burden while she spoke.   Leading her to my vehicle, I held her and prayed.  There was nothing more to say except that, “God knows”.

She cried openly as I gave her money for boots and produced other things I managed to find in such short order. Then, when I pulled out the stuff I collected from others who responded to my Emergency Call on Facebook or via e-mail, she gasped.

Other things unfolded, and we will be meeting again.

Suffice it to say that God gave me a mission. Obviously it was meant for ME.  No one else seemed to see or respond to her cry on the newsfeed. 

For Eyes Only…. My eyes.

Holy Spirit knows.   He kept stirring my heart.

“Nancy, this is your mission.  Should you choose to accept it……”

The rest is history.  Mission Possible!



This post is Shared with Laura at The Wellspring

And is shared at Hazel’s  “Tell Me a Story”

Check out these amazing TRUE Stories at: http://letmetelluastory.blogspot.com/

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Follow THE URGE!

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Sometimes You Just Need to Follow THE URGE!

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As busy mornings go, mine was no exception.   Since I work from home, the fax machine and both phones were already in full swing in the downstairs office.   Page after page plopped into the tray as my printer hummed along.

Although I was engrossed in my work, I was aware of music and a steady drumming rhythm that synced with my printer as the guy next door cleaned his car.   Then,
a couple of sirens echoed somewhere in the distance.

 

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Flyers and other advertising materials came to life on my color printer in the upstairs bedroom, while the black-and-white printer downstairs cranked out the study guides.

I was up and down those stairs all morning!  Great exercise!  

My growling stomach sent me back down to the kitchen.  Lunch time already? 

While I was rummaging in the fridge, something pressed my thoughts in the background.  I couldn’t shake it.    I call those feelings,  “The Urge”.  No, not the rock band….and nothing to do with a commercial.

Maybe it’s short for URGENT.  But this I know, when the Holy Spirit puts it there, I MUST follow it!  Although, I haven’t always followed them as I should, but I’m getting better and better everyday.

My prayer is that God keeps me in practice so that if it is ever a life-and-death situation, I’m on it without delay!

The URGE was to go back upstairs. Why?  In my head, I reviewed everything I’d done that morning and couldn’t figure it out.

 

Up the stairs I shot, anyway!

Looking around, I could see nothing out of order, but a sudden, weird flash of light caught my attention. 

From my second floor window, I can see behind my house into neighbor’s yards.  Something was happening in one of the homes.

Hurrying to my bedroom window where I could have a better look, I noticed emergency vehicles.   EMT’s were carrying a stretcher.  The door to the house was open.  People were coming in and out of the house.  Prayer immediately tumbled from my lips.  

 
The home was small and, apparently, the construction of the carport and the angle of the entrance to the home prevented the crew from getting the stretcher inside.  Loud yelling summoned four strong guys!  I continued to pray.  

Some one dashed to a nearby shed, retrieving a large transport chair.  By now it had been over ten minutes.  Something was up.

What could cause the delay?  I kept up the prayer.  Some of the EMT’s made frustrated gestures to each other.  As I opened my window, I heard,


“I can’t” one yelled.  “We can’t, it won’t go!” 

Just then, other EMTs emerged in the doorway with a very large man slumped over in the wheelchair.  They struggled, and the man in the chair was not able to help.

Back inside they pulled and pushed the chair and the man.  My prayer continued and I asked God to give them wisdom.    Finally they repositioned, and were able to maneuver him, and the chair, backwards out of the house to the small, flat section of porch where a gurney was waiting.

Yikes!   The man’s physical size, and the dimensions of his home, caused delays that wasted precious time.   I didn’t know what could be wrong, but I knew I was to stay and pray.  Finally, the man roused a bit as they continued to struggle, but the oxygen seemed to be helping.

That was all I could see.  Evidentially they got him into the ambulance and they were off, sirens blaring. 

No, I do not know those particular neighbors.  In fact, until that day, I have never even seen them.  Their big tree used to block any view, but since it was recently removed, I had a straight line of vision that day. 

I stood there for a while just staring.

I found myself thinking of all the times God is there helping us even when we don’t see it.  I mused about His Great Love! 

I felt humbled to be used, and was glad I went with my gut.

The bottom line?   Sometimes you just need to Follow The Urge!


This post is Shared with Laura at The Wellspring

Also shared with Hazel at Tell Me a Story

Something Always Needs Repair – repost

Repair Kit

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SOMETHING ALWAYS NEEDS REPAIR 

Something always needs repair!  So after dinner, it was off to Home Depot to get some ideas and, possibly, a solution! I wanted to try to save some money too!

It seems like the day is never quite long enough and something else, unexpected, always crops up to slice out yet another piece!  I had to get a variety of things accomplished before the next day showed up.  My weary, achy husband tagged along with a good attitude.  

On the way out of the parking lot, from a distance, I spied two young people sitting, holding  a small sign.  My eye caught sight of them immediately even before we came close.  

The girl had her head down and the fellow encircled her with his arm.  I began scrounging for dollar bills.  Suddenly we were at the turn and had only moments to open the window, thrust out the money with a quick “God Bless you”, and then make the turn because of the traffic behind us.  I hate leaving that quickly!

As we drove, I sat musing.  Having been partners in time and dealing with countless homeless together, my husband, familiar with my pensive behavior by now, said,

“Okay, what do you want to do?”

I knew he was hot and his knees were hurting, so I determined not to keep him out much longer.  We headed over the Grocery outlet across the street, ran through the store and picked up whatever God directed.   Hermetically sealed foods and drink, personal care items and such were thrown into a “to-go” cold-sac and we left.  

They were gone!  Randy knew better than to accept their absence as the final word and began driving up and down the close-by streets. In and out of the business and fast food areas we searched.  There they were! I needed to talk with them,  so he parked and waited.  

As I approached with a ‘what’s-up-guys?’, two very sun-burned faces eyed me suspiciously, but their story began spilling forth.  Their plans and dreams of working and living in the Bay area had fallen through. They lost everything. Their spirits were broken and humbled.  All they wanted to do was to go back home!

It seems that a church had provided a recently donated van and one tank of gas but now they were stuck in Manteca trying to get enough money to finish the trip home to Colorado Springs.  

They were hungry!   I handed over the cold-sak and they pounced upon the ready-to-eat containers. My rule is that if I feed you, I get to pray with you!  I said so too.

 Both of their heads bowed hastily and the food dropped into their laps.  These two young ones grabbed hands willingly and stopped for prayer. They were weary, but hopeful.  

Their room was waiting at home in Colorado Springs along with their TV and play-station!  All they had to do was get there!  They almost had enough gas money to begin and finish their trip. 

Well, that was a good launching place for my next comment!  I reminded them that there was a place waiting for them in Heaven too – all they had to do was get there!  They nodded.
Yes, they were strays from the fold!  They knew the way, but had lost sight of who was really supposed to be in charge.
Hugging them like a mama, they hugged back – hard!  I told them to do right, live right and turn away from sin.  Mentioning that I might never see them again in this life, I made it clear that I wanted to be able to see them after this life was over.  They nodded and promised.   

Certainly, many things need repair, but none so much as the lives to which we are sent to influence.   It’s never convenient and it’s always costly! 

Intervention in time?  Only God knows.  I am just a piece of the puzzle, but given what He’s done for me, can I respond in a lesser fashion?

This post is Shared with Laura at The Wellspring

And with Hazel at  Tell Me a True Story

http://letmetelluastory.blogspot.com/

Misplaced Priorities

We worship You O Lord
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Misplaced Priorities
or, “One Last Time”
Picture this scene.
Someone you truly love is getting ready to go home to heaven.  You know it’s going to happen.  You’ve known it for a while.  Things are winding down and it’s just a matter of time now. 
You have summoned the rest of the family and some close friends, and they surround your loved one. .Most are Christians and truly love God.
Some of your loved one’s favorite things are also close by.   A bible, pictures, and books of inspiration are all clustered within reach. 
Worship music lends a majestic backdrop.
Beaded with moisture, a pitcher of water sits near a half-empty glass.  The lazy Sunday afternoon is slowly giving way to the evening.
There’s a slight feeling of angst.  You don’t want the night to come!  Not yet…
Time is precious and you don’t want to miss one more moment of having your loved one with you.   The atmosphere is worshipful.  Teardrops glisten on various faces as different ones linger near the bedside.   Kleenex is within reach of every visitor.  Even though each individual knows where their loved one will soon be headed, it’s still hard to let them go.  
Your loved one rouses now and again.  Crossing their face is a slight smile.
Quickly, you shush everyone!  You watch in case they need something or try to speak. They do speak, but only in a whisper.  You have to bend you head down to hear.  
Now you are smiling.  You know it’s going to be okay.  Still it’s hard for you to bear. 
 “Please, please don’t go yet”, you say in your mind….
You have to turn away so they don’t see your tears.  It about them, not you  – so you try to be brave.  They squeeze your hand right about then. You know they understand.  They are happy to be so loved.
Your loved one takes some faltering breaths followed by, alternating periods of shallow and deep breathing.   It’s obvious, they are transitioning. You hold on tight and, just for a moment, you wish you could make them stay, or go with them.
Everyone is gathered ‘round.   It seems an eternity.   Suddenly, the whole room seems to light up. And then……your loved one is gone! 
Tears flow freely now, but no one moves.  Quiet sobs give way to broken hearts.   Someone starts singing Amazing Grace.  Hands raise in worship to The One who is welcoming your loved one home.  You can only imagine the Glory they are experiencing. 
Time passes as you continue to sit.  Then, you bend over and kiss their face one last time as you say your final goodbye.  It was hard, but you are so glad you could be there.  It was a wonderfully, peaceful home-going.  
 . . . . . . . . . .  Only that’s NOT how it happened yesterday!
A Christian brother was getting ready meet His Savior soon.  It was all over Facebook.  A pastor’s wife wrote that they were praying it would be a “wonderful family time” as he was surrounded by his Christian family and friends.  He had been in and out of it for a while and they wanted to spend some meaningful time with him. .
Everyone gathered, dressed in their finest   red and gold, that is.  The room was filled with favorite things – Forty-Niner flags and memorabilia were everywhere!
The smell of food accompanied rather loud talking as family and friends gathered round his bed to watch the Superbowl with their beloved, one last time. 
On the TV, skimpily clad singers gyrated with their unholy music during halftime while people got up and down to refill their glasses or talk about the game. 
Their loved one continued between being alert and asleep.  One guy noted,
“…We had a good time. Roy was in and out throughout the game, but he was aroused each time we cheered for the Niners, LOL!.”
Sure they were all together.  Right?
And yet………somehow , during  the commotion, no one could hear what he was saying.   They didn’t even notice when he started taking more halting breaths.  Those sitting closest saw him open his eyes and just thought he was excited too!  They slapped him on his shoulder.
They were glad they could be doing this with him.   After all he’ll never get to do this again.
The game was finally over – their team lost.  The atmosphere became subdued and people were a little bummed.  They slowly started to fold up the chairs and gather their things.  The mood was somber.
In all the commotion, no one had even noticed.   No one knew exactly when it happened.  Roy was gone.  He had passed away while they were distracted..
“Oh no!”   someone cried out.   “When?” someone else said?    “The last time I looked, he was fine” another mentioned.  A small wave of guilt whooshed through the room. 
They will probably use that worn out, catch-all phrase of idiocy,   “He died doing what he loved.”
Really?   Really?   How shallow can we be?   Body of Christ, where are you?
Whose was the Worship, and The Glory that day? 
My heart convulsed.  My spirit grieved.  Tears flowed, but for a different reason.
How it that our Christian priorities become so misplaced that they are no longer even recognized?
There won’t be any Superbowl in heaven.  Like Roy is really going to care once he’s there.  Such misplaced priorities.  We have so little time to matter on this planet.  One second we’re here, and another second, we’re not.
What’ really important?
Helen Steiner Rice wrote,
            “Only one life ‘twill soon be past
             Only what’s done for Christ will last”
Surrounded  by Christian family and friends……Roy died …..alone.                              

This post is Linked with Jen’s Soli Deo Gloria

and at “Tell Me a Story”  http://letmetelluastory.blogspot.com/

A Gut Punch – repost

Praying for a Miracle
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Prayer takes on a different meaning almost every time I get down to business.

Today it was “ Oh-h-h-h-hph!”  I felt like the wind was knocked out of me while I was praying in behalf of various people. So many issues. . . so many doubts . . . so many hurts . . .

In the middle of it all, the message that rang loud and clear was this:

God is NOT done!   Again – God is NOT done!  That is what He keeps telling me.  He has the final say, not circumstances. 

There is power in agreement and I am at your service to agree with YOU right now.  Go ahead and hook up with me as I pray over you!

Father in, Jesus Name, I say that YOU are LORD and there in NONE ELSE.

I continue with my agreement in behalf of the needs of Your children.

I plead the Blood of Jesus over their minds, that they will NOT accept any foul thought-attacks as being the final word.

You are Higher than high!  YOU know all things, Precious Lord.

Calm and soothe these Righteous hearts.   Re-establish Your perfect Peace within.

Now move in them so that they will be able to LET the Peace that passes all understanding, rule their minds and hearts at this very moment.  Fear, release your grip on these minds, in Jesus Name.

YOU are The Provider! YOU are LORD!

YOU are Almighty in this situation. Thanks for Your leading and for giving them wisdom and instruction on what to do next.  Open their hearing for Your Divine direction. 

Thank You for Your tender love and mercy as it begins to flow inward and your children are washed by the Water of the Word.   Peace . . . peace . . . peace.

 In Jesus’ Name…Amen

This post has been shared with Michelle’s Hear it on Sunday Use it on Monday.

and at: “Tell Me a Story” http://letmetelluastory.blogspot.com/