Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Incarnational Ministry

The Lord is slowly opening my eyes to see him in the small things I do (I will talk about my holy pen in a later post). What may seem like an insignificant act or conversation becomes huge when I see the kingdom of God advancing in these small moments. These moments are not forced or contrived; they come and there they are for the taking.

This semester I am doing a couple of small things differently in an effort to put myself in situations to advance the kingdom of God. The first thing is to spend less time in the office and more time in an area where God can use me for his glory (I thank Dan Kimball for giving me this idea at NCMS a couple of weeks ago.) Monday and Tuesday are in the office. Wednesday and Thursday are somewhere else. Currently, I am sitting in Kaldis, writing this post. I hope to slowly get to know the workers, the regulars, and other people who come into these places. The Lord knows how he will use me here. I just wait for the small moments over the course of a few years. Lord, keep my eyes open to see these moments you want to use me. Don't let me be consumed with work here and lose sight of how you can use me to advance your kingdom.

The second thing I am doing will begin next week when school gets back in. I will sit on campus for a couple of hours (the busiest times of the day student-wise) with a sign next to me that reads something like, "I want to pray for you. I'm here to listen." I have no idea what will happen, but over a period of time this is what I imagine might happen. Someone's world comes crashing down one night and the thought occurs to them, "I wonder if that guy I see everyday is going to be there tomorrow. If he is, I will stop." Honestly, I don't know if that is going to happen or not. All I know is that I am compelled to be available to any student on campus and I am compelled to pray for our campus. Lord, again give me the courage to be available outside of the "office." You alone know who needs more of you. I want to be used for your glory. Please bring students to yourself.

All of these things are part of my idea of transforming my ministry into an incarnational one; I want to be Jesus to others.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Nasty Smell

I walk in the Student Center last week from being gone two weeks to Brasil. The smell is horrible! Courtney had already throne the trash out and started lighting candles, but nothing helps. We go through the whole building and can't figure out where in the world this smell is coming from!

The whole day passes...nothing. The next day...still nothing except more candles and some carpet freshener. That doesn't do the trick either. What is it!!!!????

Thursday, Courtney comes in and there is a note on the board from Cory: "I found the smell. It's in the refrigerator." She opens the door and almost lost everything in her stomach! The doors from the fridge had opened somehow! We had all kinds of meat, vegetables, cheese, and more in the freezer and fridge. All ruined! After gathering herself, she actually took it all out and threw it away. She couldn't do anything else because the smell was THAT bad.

I happened to be late that day. Courtney called and told me what it was. I said I would clean it. SO...for about an hour I cleaned up the fridge and freezer. The smell was bad!! I really haven't ever smelled anything that bad before in my life (at least I don't remember). All I remember thinking is that it has to get clean. It got all over my hands to where I smelt a hint of it the rest of the day. Bleach helped a ton. That sucker got so bleached that the black turned white! I got it how I wanted it for the time being and went on with my day; my work continued.

Coming back in to a Student Center that has no smell was great! It also got me to thinking about ministry. I have to get into the gunk of other people's lives (bad smell and everything) if I want them to begin smelling the aroma of Christ. I might get smelly myself, but the power of Jesus (and the power of the gospel) is to change bad to good. That is GOOD NEWS!!!

Please use me, Lord, to spread your aroma to the craziest places. Give me the courage to walk where others dare not walk! You are my strength and encouragement. This is the same path you took...even to accept the stench of death on a cross.