I’ve been reading much in the Word lately about constantly being in prayer. Having that attitude of Christ where you are disciplining your mind to be focused on Him. TRUTH: it’s hard. I’m not always good at it and it doesn’t always come easy. It’s a constant battle of the mind – what do I listen to, watch, say… With that being said and knowing that I’ve been intentionally working on this, have you ever been in that place where you weren’t expecting a God encounter, and then it broadsides you to the point where you are speechless?
Trust me, this all goes together. To place focus on training your mind consciously is just nuts, really. Especially since I thought I was doing so well, and then God hits me with a lesson when I’m least expecting it….
The guys and I traveled to Monticello, MS, on Sunday to lead the students of the Lawrence County area and encourage them to be involved in SYATP- See You at the Pole. This is a yearly event where students/businesses gather at their flag poles early on a Wednesday morning and pray for our country and their respective places.
There were some amazing dramas- shout out to PVBC Youth!- and scripture readings, testimonies… these guys pulled out all the stops to encourage their communities. Worship was exciting and the guys and I were so encouraged by their hearts not just to participate but to learn new songs… that they would be so bold to worship in front of their peers – it was fantastic!
We got to the table where we had directed everyone to come by and say hello and see if they wanted to take anything home. I’d encouraged them to at least get one thing: our bracelet we have that supports our friend Natalie Stephens, missionary to Mindanao in the Philippine islands- www.nataliebrownstephens.com. It was so humbling to watch students and adults alike flood the table with hellos – and support for her.
Josh (bass) and I were standing beside one another when a sweet girl approaches with two one-dollar bills in her hands. As she talks, she un-crumples them and lets me know that while she doesn’t have the complete $5 for the bracelet, she asks if I would make sure that her $2 went to Natalie and her mission because that’s all she had.
I froze. I could do nothing but stare at her and then grab her and give her a giant hug. It was in that moment that so much flooded my mind. Giving, sacrifice, love, passion, cause, purpose… then that parable of the widow’s mite came to mind:
While Jesus was in the Temple, he watched the rich people dropping their gifts in the collection box. 2 Then a poor widow came by and dropped in two small coins. 3 “I tell you the truth,” Jesus said, “this poor widow has given more than all the rest of them. 4 For they have given a tiny part of their surplus, but she, poor as she is, has given everything she has.” – Luke 21:1-4
Maybe she had more dollars at home. Maybe she was getting her allowance on Monday. Maybe she didn’t need that $2. Or maybe that was her last $2 until she got paid on Friday. Maybe she was giving up her extra cash for the week. Maybe she was giving her all because she knew that God could do more with that $2 than she could ever dream. I like the last one the best. A 15ish year old student gave me so much to chew on about discipline while SHOWING me the Gospel in two minutes…SHOW LOVE… What about you?
I’ve been concentrating so hard on mind renewal, that God gave me such a great reminder that it’s all around us too- the opportunity to redirect our mind by the actions of others…but that’s another blog for another day…