09-17-17 "BLESS: Share Your Story"

First Covenant Church has grown by two little sets of feet!  Addison Diemer was born to Sara and Eric on Wednesday, and Zane Doremus was born to Kim and Cody on Friday.  Please keep both families in your prayers as babies, parents, and siblings all get used to the “new normal” in their homes.

In other news, the Pumpkin Festival has come and gone.  The people who attended are all just a little richer for the experience, and just a wee bit plumper from eating fair food like corn dogs, funnel cakes, and deep-fried Oreos.  Personally, my favorite part of the Festival is still driving the bumper cars, but that’s just me.

Then again, I had a wonderful conversation with the vendor who deep-fried our Oreos (don’t judge me -- I’ve lost 20 pounds in the past month, and I only ate one of them).  She’d clearly been having a rough day, so we chatted for a bit while our little nuggets finished cooking.  I reminded her that God gives everyone good days and hard days, so it’s really up to us which kind of day we choose to focus on in our lives.  In fact, the act of stressing over the hard times in our lives tends to mean that we’re grumbling over or dreading hard days, even on the good days (thus needlessly turning good days into hard days).  The trick is reminding ourselves that God is committed to walking with us on every kind of day -- good or hard.  The vendor thanked me as she handed me the Oreos and said that she felt that God sent me to her that evening, asking me for my card.

The reason that I share any of that here is that we talked about precisely that sort of thing in the message this week -- the final message in our BLESS series, describing the stages of a healthy outreach ministry:  Begin with Prayer, Listen with Care, Eat Together, Serve with Love, Share your Story.

See, Romans 10:14 straight up says that people can’t call on God to be saved if they’ve never believed in Him, and they can’t believe in Him if they’ve never heard about Him, and they can’t hear about Him unless someone like you or me takes the time to actually talk with them and share our story with them.  It’s not rocket science, and it’s not hard.

You tell people about your grandkids, or about your favorite meal, or about the Cubbies.  You tell people about important stuff all of the time.  And let’s be honest -- I wasn’t really planning on doing much of anything else while I was standing there waiting for my Oreos.  So I guarantee that you’ll have the opportunity within the next few days to consciously, actively, make it a point to share about God with them.  You don’t have to have an answer to every theological question that people might come up with -- you just have to live life in a constant state of willingness and preparedness to share with people why it is that you look at things differently because of what God has done in your life (1 Peter 3:15).

So start every day, every venture, with prayer and seek God’s leading and direction, and then make a conscious effort to genuinely connect with those around you every day. 

You might be surprised at the amazing things that God ends up having in store for you when you live like that...