Monday, July 25, 2011

Just give me His heart ( and a guitar on my back)

Play the video as you read this: 

A few years ago, I was sitting at home with my 3 children. I was so restless and aimless. I am a stay at home mom, but I felt like there had to be more for me to do. Yes, I was content in knowing that my calling was to mother my children for this season of life, but there was still something lacking. I knew that being home, I had more opportunity than most working folk to be more spiritually active, per se. There was possibly more time to read my word, pray, meditate, and have awesome spiritual encounters.

One morning during prayer I thought, what is the point of me reading and fasting and praying and meditating, If I am not passing this on. I felt a real sense of urgency to get out there.
But God how can I get out there with children?
I got up from my knees, wiped my eyes, and got dressed. I got my little one dressed, plopped her in her stroller and went outside. I started with my neighbors. I was nervous- what do I say? but I was purposeful. I knocked on a door- no answer. I went to the next door, hoping no one would answer this one either. The door opened and a middle aged women opened the door. She looked tired, but pleasant.
I introduced myself. Told her I was a neighbor of hers, meeting everyone. I said "since I'm here, I was wondering if you would mind me praying for you. Is there anything you would like prayer for?" She told me her back was hurting. I said, "OK". We prayed at the door. I could see her face change. she looked a little refreshed. We exchanged information. I still remember her name til this day. I visited her on occasion just to see how she was doing. One visit, I shared salvation with her. It was casual. She didn't turn me away. I never saw her outside that realm, but a seed was planted.

I went to some one's house each day after. I prayed with them. I shared the gospel with them. I started walking everywhere I went with my guitar slung on my back- talk about a conversation starter. I played music at the park. I sat on people's steps and sang to them about the Lord, with their permission. It was amazing to see how often I really was not turned away. I was invited into people's homes, as a neighbor. I was neighborly. I spread the gospel. I won't pretend it got easier and easier- I was nervous every time. I was excited every time as well. I would go to Walmart, the grocery store- wherever- and say, I am going to talk to at least one person. I spoke to cashiers or people in the aisles. Sometimes just inviting them to church. Sometimes asking them, what became one of my default lines- " Do you have a relationship with Jesus?" People were surprisingly not offended, rather impressed at the boldness of such a question. It wasn't me by far.

One day I boarded a bus. I sat in the back. I felt led to talk to a group of people back there. Words of a song came to me, and I jotted them down. I asked them if I could sing them a song I just wrote- because they look like they would enjoy some good music. I sang  to them on the back of the bus- the entire bus got quiet. I was able to share God with them through the song and after.

We moved and I continued my neighbourhood gospel stroll. Whenever I was out I made it a point to talk to  folk on the street. I listened to the Spirit. Sometimes I would start with my default line. Sometimes I would wait minutes into the conversation, and it would just come up.

I had another great bus experience, a women I felt led to sit beside. I asked her if she had a relationship with Christ. She gave me a 'maybe" look. I asked her if she ever obeyed the gospel. She was receptive. She asked about God's realness. I could tell some of the things I shared she never heard before. She said she had too much- her past was full of things- right now she was on probation. I said Nothing is too big for God to overlook if you truly turn around. She was afraid of committing right then. But a seed was planted.

I sat beside a deaf woman on the bus ride back home. I felt led to pray for her. We had to have a conversation on index cards I happened to have in the diaper bag.  I wrote and asked her if I could pray for her? Would she like to hear? She was hesitant at first, I told her she could be healed in Jesus name. She said she already went to church. I told her that was great, yet I am asking her if she wants to be healed of deafness today. She slowly wrote, OK, after a length of time. We got off the bus, with the young man that was assisting her. We stood on the bus stop and I laid my hand on her ears and prayed over them. My brother and sister with me touched and agreed. I whispered into her ears. What?I don't know. I pulled away and said something to her. She turned her head to me, leaning her ear to me, like we do when we hear something but not clearly. I said you are healed in Jesus name, and the young man with her, eyes wide open. Looked at me and began to say " Thank you miss, thank you, miss", with a wide smile. I believe she heard even more as she walked away.  I still have those cards. I read them from time to time, believing God that I can be used to even more boldly see the next miracle to completion.

We moved again. This neighborhood is different. I haven't been able to go about the same way- maybe I am more intimidated to go knock on every one's doors. Though as I am writing this, I think, nothing is stopping me but myself. I don't think going outside to stroll will give me many opportunity to talk to someone as most people are not just walking around in this neighborhood. (Excuses?) But I have had more opportunity to show Christ on the long term- meeting parents at the bus stop. Being a listening ear, and counseling and praying with them. I am being more than just neighbor, but friend, and that is allowing me to shine the light of Christ, even deeper than a mere street encounter.

Lately my pastor has been urging the congregation to be passionate about The Call. My heart is stirred in me to do more, once again. Again I ask God, how with my children? But it was them after a while saying " mommy can we talk to this lady about Jesus?" "Mommy can we talk to them about God, and invite them to church?" Because they saw me going and preaching. So with the children is the best way, sometimes.

(C) Chantel Dillard 2011,2009
My prayer today is that God will give us his heart, that our passion to share him with those around us, and those we come across, will be genuine, and overflowing from our hearts. I pray we use what God has given us, to share the gospel. I pray we do not ignore the ripe opportunities because of inconvenience. I am thankful for the gifts he has given me. It's my crutch, sorta speak, to write this blog,or sing, or grab a guitar and play. But it works.
Reach someone for God today.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Mess will be mess- so why stress?

They have me surrounded!
Rubber bands and hair clips decorate the floor by my bedroom door, courtesy of the almost-two year old. A wet towel lays outside the bathroom door near the stairs. Shoes in the hall threaten to levitate me. My littlest one is in my arms, giving in slowly to sleep, or the glare of the computer screen- not sure which one. There's more, but that is more than I care to reveal. Some dignity must be salvaged, I think in my best classic victorian accent.
 This was the scene before I decided to take the Fab Five to the pool. 
I looked around. I groaned. I took in a deep breath. I left it all there and stepped outside in the sun. And you know what? It was not dragon fire breath today- yay! There was a cool breeze, the water wasn't freezing, and they had hours of fun without fighting and nagging. It was nice. 

I knew I would go back into the mess I left. I knew that, when I left. I decided, since most likely I would be tending to it again whether I attacked it then or later, a few hours of fun wouldn't hurt us. It actually did us some good.

(C) Chantel Dillard,2011

It was worth it.And, now, on to dinner...

"For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink [insert applicable noun here]; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost." -Romans 14:17

There is a time for everything,
   and a season for every activity under the heavens:
Ecclesiates 3:1