Thursday, August 28, 2008

The Fellowship of the Unashamed

I am part of the Fellowship of the Unashamed. The dye has been cast. The decision has been made. I have stepped over the line. I won’t look back, let up, slow down, or back away. My past is redeemed, my present makes sense, my future secure. I’m done with low living, sight walking, small planning colorless dreams, tamed visions, mundane talking, cheap living and dwarfed goals: I no longer need pr-eminence, prosperity, positions, promotions, or popularity. I don’t have to be right, first, tops, recognized, praised, regarded or rewarded. I now live by faith, lean on His presence, walk with patience, live by prayer and labor with power. My face is set, my goal is Heaven, my road is narrow, my way is rough, my companions are few, my Guide is reliable, my mission clear. I cannot be bought, compromised detoured, lured away, turned back, deluded or delayed. I will not flinch in the face of sacrifice, hesitate in the presence of adversary, negotiate at the table of the enemy, ponder at the pool of popularity or meander in the maze of mediocrity. I won’t give up, shut up, let up, until I have stayed up, stored up, prayed up, paid up, and spoken up for the cause of Christ. I must go until He returns, give until I drop, preach until all know, and work until He comes. And when He comes, He will have no problem recognizing me. My colors will be clear. “For I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ.”

-Extreme Devotion, Voice of the Martyrs, pg 150-

To you, I am invisible

Recently I had a very meaningful conversation that taught me a lesson far beyond the conversation that actually took place. “To you, I am invisible.” I was looked directly in the eyes and told that every time you walk by you act as if I’m invisible. You may even look at me, look directly into my eyes but not acknowledge that I exist. I may be in the wrong place and in need of someone to just point me to where I need to go, we may have even talked before and you know who I am and where I belong, but yet you leave me there wondering where I need to be. You leave me thinking that I must have messed up. You left me thinking that it was my mistake. You could have simply said three words and given me the answer but instead you looked directly at me and ignored me. This conversation continued with her say how Christians should not act this way and that this community of believers should be THE place where people are not invisible. That this should be THE place where people know they are loved and encouraged. She said that you need to do better at this and you need can not go on treating people like this. The conversation ended with encouraging words and I walked away understanding what she said but feeling exhausted from the conversation.

From this random encounter I learned how someone could feel when he or she experiences being invisible to a community with searching eyes. The sadness and hopelessness of being in the room but completely excluded. I learned how we need to be intentional in our interaction and to always be sure to treat others as important friends who mean as much to us as they do the Lord.

Through this random encounter I also learned that a little communication slip could cause you to completely lose your audience. One little grammatical error, such as saying you inclusively when you mean exclusively can cause the one with whom you are talking, to feel invisible or defensive.

So as you walk around, keep your head held high. Talk with those around you, be a friend to those in need, be the Samaritan Neighbor. And as you talk with those around you, remember to communicate effectively so as not to lose your point in taking a stand.

The Beginning

Over the past few months I have been having a desire to read. This may seem an odd way to begin a blog but it really is the beginning. Growing up, I NEVER liked to read. I was so against the whole concept that it took until 4th grade before I really understood that it was actually important and that I should learn how. So after graduating from college and never “having” to read again, I gained the desire. I started with some practical books on ministry and than began the Old Testament. After finishing, my desire had subsided but than I began thinking about all the events and thoughts that I could write. Thus the blog desire began, but along with this beginning came the beginning of school and the end of free time. As I have conversations with people I think about how I could word my thoughts into a blog and how it could be related to other situations in life. So tonight at 2:10 I lay on the couch giving up on the desire to sleep and giving in to the desire to begin a blog. Thus it begins.