Saturday, November 19, 2011

Important Conversations

Every day is filled with important conversations. Two conversations from this week keep re-playing in my mind... because I am humbled at the privilege to do this "work" and awed at the way God intervenes with the right words.

At my house after dinner Thursday night
Manuel: I've got a problem.  Some people are gossiping about me.  They say I am not fit to be a leader because they say..."We've seen you drink and get drunk" and "We've seen you with women." They are saying other bad things about me too that are not true.
Nancy: Are these things true?
Manuel: Yes, before, but not anymore. I've stopped.
Nancy: I believe you.
Manuel: I love God. I confessed these things. You know. It hurts that my "friends" are saying these things.
Nancy: Two things are going on.  1) Satan will encourage people to spread rumors about you to try and pull you down.  You are a wonderful leader and Satan does not want you to lead. So we need to pray that away because as Jesus disciples we have the authority over these evil things. (We read Matthew 10 with emphasis on verse 26.)  So when you are attacked, pray. Recognize it as evil and cast it out. (We prayed).
Nancy:  The second thing is an important lesson that I keep struggling to learn.
You're not perfect.
God hasn't chosen you to lead because you are perfect. The people will expect you to be perfect because you are a teacher.  Then when you are not perfect, you feel guilty and they feel angry, disappointed, and even betrayed. Don't try to maintain an image that you are somehow able to do everything God asks better than they and therefore are able to lead them.  God always chose imperfect people.  David ....with Bathsheba and killing her husband! Moses killed an Egyptian and got angry in the desert, Peter denied Jesus.  As leaders we have to walk in God's grace. I have done things that are wrong. I am not fit to be God's servant, but...God has given me grace, his merciful forgiveness, and takes my hand and pulls me up saying, "Come my child, I have more work for you to do."  Isn't that amazing?
When you show that you are weak and need God's grace, yes even you, the people will believe that maybe God's grace extends to them, too.
Manuel: And I can't keep sinning.
Nancy: We strive to be "holy" because God is holy. (1st Peter 1:16) Everyday I wake up and ask God please help me to do what is right, just and pure, to please guide my conversation to speak His words in love.
Manuel: Me too, I want to do this.

This is Alva's embroidery hoop.

Girl's Night Bible Study
We are continuing to read praise psalms and work on our small embroidery plaques.
Nancy: Let's read psalm 117 and say our own summaries of what it means.  So as we go around the table and read it verse by verse, be ready to say the psalm in your own words.
(We did this...then we came to Alva.)
Alva: I guess it means God loves me and he always tells the (she wasn't believing the words.)
Nancy: God loves you Alva
Alva: But I have so many bad sins not like you wouldn't understand.  I mean bad sins and I have confessed the sins to God in prayer in my home lying on my bed but I still sin and ...
Nancy: So God's a liar.
Alva: God is truth. He never lies. The psalm says his truth is eternal....always truth.
Nancy: Alva, God LOVES you.  God doesn't say uhhhh Alva, if you get your act together and stop sinning then I will love you.
Read the psalm again.
Alva (reads the psalm): But God can see in my heart and God knows that I have bad sin there.
Nancy: Yep. God can see in your heart and God still loves you.
Alva: My brothers were just baptized in Mom's church. I'm proud of them. They don't smoke weed anymore. But I have too much bad sin to be baptized.
Nancy: God loves you Alva. You think nobody could love you.  But I love you and God loves you even more...a lot more.
Alva (cries a little): Yes, yes, but I can't believe that.

Please pray for these two.

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