Thursday, July 31, 2008

Say it loud...

I have felt God impressing upon me in the past couple days that we may not have all the time we think we have to do all the things we'll "get to" someday. For example,getting serious about sharing my faith with friends and family. My dad is a non-practicing Greek Orthodox Christian, who mailed me my Thea (Aunt) Maria's plaque of "Saint Nicksomething" and told me that if I pray to him, my prayers will be answered (especially 'cause we're related in some way). My stepmom is a non-religious Jew. Their son, my kid brother, is fourteen and I am not close to him. I don't know what he believes. I know that God has a plan for my life. He told me (audibly) that I was to move to Richmond. That conversation went like on the verge of sleep and a big voice saying "Go to Richmond" saying "what?" and God saying "Go to Richmond". Now, I talk to myself in my head all the time, I dream all the time. This was not my voice and it was no dream. I also know that "He who has begun a great work within me will not abandon the works of his hands" (paraphrasing). But how many opportunities do I put off thinking that there's always tomorrow? I am way more vigilant in my relations with coworkers and those whose "rejection" I can handle. If my family and unsaved friends think I'm hurts. And then I feel like I'm already defeated the next time I broach the subject of God with them. What if I became a radical Christian? I know that I grow everyday in Christ. I know my hearts' desire is to glorify His name with my thoughts, motives, actions, and words..but do you believe that even with that sincere desire I still hold onto stuff? I still think that I need to be perceived as "not totally boring", and today at work I even found myself telling a story of when I wasn't a Christian with a little "hee hee I was bad" attitude. Yeah, that's a good way to be a witness. I am not on the fence, I just keep a picture of it in my back pocket. I need my life to be lived in a way that allows me to grasp every opportunity, to bring hope and light into this perpetual darkness. What is in my way? Me. I'm scared, not able, apprehensive. I have to learn to trust. I have to do one of those cliff jumps my friend Edie posted about recently (trusting God to catch me). Because I don't have all the time in the world. God appointed me for this time, for these people, and I don't want to look back and mourn opportunities lost. We are his mouth, to proclaim his mercy. Give me courage, Lord, to step out of this comfort zone and into a great adventure with you.

Psalm 40:9
I proclaim righteousness in the great assembly;
I do not seal my lips,
as you know, O Lord.
I do not hide your righteousness in my heart;
I speak of your faithfulness and salvation.
I do not conceal your love and your truth from the great assembly.


Edie said...

Hi Angela - You have such a heart for saving souls. I just love that. The hardest people to win are family and friends. Even Christ had this problem. That is how the Gospel ended up being preached to us Gentiles.

O Lord prepare the hearts of Angela's family as rich and fertile soil. Whisper questions of Truth into their minds and hearts and a deep desire for the answers. Prepare the path between Angela and these family members. Go ahead of her and orchestrate the circumstances. Then, in your perfect time, open her mouth to speak your Truths to the hearts you have already prepared to receive it. - For your Glory in Christ

Jenifer said...

I just came across your blog and love it. You have a true heart for the Lord, His people, and His calling on your life. I too, am striving to make the most of the second chance God has given me.

Be blessed dear one and may your light shine for Him.

Mariel said...

great post, my friend! great perspective too...thank you!

keep shining for Jesus! His word never returns void! My own parent came to know Him through the light He shined through my husband and myself...all glory goes to Him! Be encouraged our time is short and He is powerful and able!

Praying for you!! hugs~mariel

Nancie said...

Hi Angela, thanks for stopping by my blog and your kind comment. It's nice to meet you.

I am encouraged by your sincere desire to walk pleasing to God and to win souls for Him. I am praying that God will continue to keep you near to Him and enable you to grow more and more in the knowledge of Him and love for Him. May He give you opportunities and courage to testify of His grace and make you a blessing to many.

May your family come to the true saving knowledge of Christ too. I know how hard it can be with family members. Thank God that with Him all things are possible! Thanks for sharing your heart with us. Take care and may God bless you abundantly!

Stephanie said...

Hi Angela. :)
I agree. It's so easy to think, "I have lots of time..." but it's crazy how fast life zips along. Good, thought provoking thoughts. Thanks!

jeleasure said...

a few thoughts:
The first is on my 'audible voice' experience.
I was coming out of a sleep and I heard a voice fill the room. You know, like speeking into a jar?
I heard it in some language I could never mimic. At the same time, I heard the translation in my mind. "Are you ready for Heaven?".
This was in 1989.
I knew I was not ready. I was on the fence. In the clubs on Friday and Saturday with one group of friends. And in Church and having lunch on Sunday, with another group of friends. I have a funny story that goes with the 'audible voice' thing.
The other thought: I also have two younger brothers. I have an idea of what they believe. Nothing concerning a Creator.
When my Father died, I was to speek at his funeral. I had a vague idea as to what I would say. Then the minister read the 23rd Psalm. I went to Matthew 25, Sheep and Goats, what we have done or not done for the least of the brethren of Christ.
Mt. 25 speeks of community and those who refuse to be community. I would like to tell you more about this, but I think you will do well to figure it out on your own.
For all in that room, witnessing my father's burial, I gave them the benevolence of my believing father, who was also fighting the demons of alcohol, as something to think about. I said, Christ did not come to heal the healthy. (And still, I am leaving much out).
At the end of the funeral, the minister asked all to close their eyes and raise their hands to acknowledge a willingness for Christ. I heard him say, "Almost everyone". There was about 150 persons in that room.
I just live as consistent a Christian life as I do. And, never fail to take the opportunity to address a perspective of my family's life from Biblical teaching. It is entirely up to the individual and The Holy Spirit. I am glad to do what Jesus gave as the Great Commission. Go out an make disciples.

Kait said...

Sometimes you don't have to stress about the vocal communication of your beliefs to others, although usually at some point it comes to that. Just living your life can be a light and example to others. When people see you happy and fulfilled and realize its all because of your faith they might feel compelled to inquire.

Edie said...

Hey Angela - Love your new Header. It's beautiful!

Edie said...

It just changed! Are you working on your blog while I'm writing this?

Edie said...

Hey Angela - Nothing spectacular planned for the weekend. Wanna hang out? LOL

Email me. (edie7777 at tx dot rr dot com)

Kait said...

It is a tough call but I agree with you that we are all placed in our families for a reason, to make some impact on the ones we love. This is your impact to make and you are brave to take it on. I see your dilema in purely leading by example when your not around your family everyday. Just pray for the right words, the right message. Oh and yes I am getting ready to start college in a few weeks and I'll be majoring in fashion merchandising.

jeleasure said...

What is this bleeting I hear in my ear?
Of course, this is from Scripture. But you are the only one who will understand why I said it. Baahaah.

Nice. You now have music. The picture was kind of a shock. My first thought was that I was on the wrong page.

Any way, I'm sending someone to your page. Her name is Tamela. She enjoys the interaction of reading blogs and posting as well as receiving comments. A very mature Christian.

Oh, Why would your I.P. address come out of Tennessee? My Statcounter shows your address as being registered in Tennessee.

Tamela's Place said...

Hi Angela,

Jim told me about your blog so i wanted to swing by and say hi.

Family can be the toughest to reach. But God promised to work all things out for the good of them that love Him and who are the called according to His purpose.

May you always be encouraged with the presence of the Lord in your life Angela. I know the Lord will direct your steps in all your decision making.

I will come back to check out your blog every so often. Thank you for sharing your heart. Know that there are people out there cheering you on for the glory of God! God bless you!

Nancie said...

Hi Angela,

I thank God that He enables us to meet through blogging. Thanks for visiting me and your encouragements.

I am thankful to God that I can meet you and many others through blogging. I am in the midst of listing out blogging friends that I like to share 2 awards with. I have included your blog as well. I like to share Share The Love Award and Friendship Award with you. Do come over and receive them when you have time. You can save the images and upload them to your side bars or posts. And feel free to pass them to your blogging buddies. Take care and God bless you and family always!

With appreciation and prayers,